Monday, June 26, 2017

FEATURED BOOK COVER: TELL ON YOU BY FREDA HANSBURG


Title: TELL ON YOU 
Author: Freda Hansburg 
Publisher: Micro Publishing Media 
Pages: 248 
Genre: Thriller

Tell on You is a psychological suspense novel that best fits within the Gone Girl-inspired niche genre of “grip lit.”   Jeremy Barrett’s obsessive love equals that of Jay Gatsby for Daisy Buchanan, as life imitates art in his private school English class. But his angst-driven infatuation brings dire consequences as he is drawn into the machinations of his disturbed 16-year-old student Nikki Jordan, whose bad intentions rival those of her teacher.  A fast-paced, drama-filled tale, Tell on You reminds readers about the wildness and trauma of adolescence—and the self-defeating behaviors to which adults resort in times of stress. From gaslighting to vicious bullying, poisonous family privilege to the loss of a parent—Freda Hansburg draws on her experience as a clinical psychologist to explore the depths of each dark situation in Tell on You.

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Book Excerpt:



“OWW!!”  EIGHT-YEAR OLD Brandon Jordan screeched as his sister Nikki twisted his arm in an Indian burn.  “Nikki, stop!”
            His cries brought Mom crashing into Nikki’s room.  “Nikki, I won’t have you bullying your brother again.  Let him go this instant.”
            “But I caught him in here messing with my stuff!” Nikki gave Brandon’s arm a final wrench before releasing him.  Pouting, he scurried from her room. 
            “I don’t care what he did.  I told you, keep your hands to yourself.”  Her mother turned away, judgment delivered. 
Probably in a hurry to get back to her vodka and reality TV.  “At least when Dad was here, somebody stuck up for me,” Nikki called after her.
Mom’s angry face reappeared.  “Stuck up for you?”  A bitter laugh.  “Stuck it to you, and all of us, is more like it.”
“Wasn’t me he left,” Nikki said.
“Really?  When’s the last time he even phoned you?”  Her mother walked off with that parting shot.
“Like you’d know, bitch.”  Nikki said it under her breath, but not under enough.
“Who do you think you’re talking to?”  Mom stormed back into the room, got right up in Nikki’s face, breath boozy.  “You’re grounded for the next three days, kiddo.  Give me your car keys, right now.”
“Maa!” Nikki protested.  “How will I get to school?” 
Her mother held out her hand for the keys.  “Get up an hour early and I’ll drop you on the way to work.”
“No way!”  Nikki fished the keys from her bag and dropped them into her mother’s open palm.
“Then walk.”  Her mom headed out of the room, turning back for one last jab.  “Or call your father.”
This time Nikki closed the bedroom door before cursing her out.  Walking to school sucked, and tomorrow’s weather forecast called for cold.  Call your father.  Very funny.  Dad lived in Austin now.  But it gave her an idea.
Nikki picked up her phone to make the call, rehearsing the pitch in her mind.  I’m so lonely, Mr. B.  I’m taking care of my brother again because my mom went out.  And she forgot we were supposed to take my car in for a new battery.  And I was wishing…I know I shouldn’t ask you…but if you met me and gave me a ride to school tomorrow, I’d get to see you.  You wouldn’t have to take me right to school, just drop me nearby. 
She’d sell it to him.  And after that, she’d see about getting even with her mother and
brother.  Maybe steal Brandon’s Game Boy batteries and hide them.  And see how much
distilled white vinegar she could add to Mom’s vodka bottle before the bitch actually
 noticed.  Nobody, but nobody, got to score the winning point against Nikki Jordan.



About the Author

Freda Hansburg is a psychologist and Tell On You is her debut trade thriller.  She self-published the suspense novel Shrink Rapt and co-authored two self-help books, PeopleSmart – a best-seller translated into ten languages – and Working PeopleSmart.  Freda lives in the South Carolina Lowcountry, where she is working on her next novel and her Pickleball game.

Her latest book is the thriller, Tell On You.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

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This tour brought to you by 

http://www.pumpupyourbook.com

 

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Featured Book Cover: Great Objectives by Robert Finch









In his book Utilitarianism, John Stuart Mill refers to the great objects of human life. We may assume that that what Mill calls an object is the same as an objective in modern parlance. The examples of great objectives that Mill cites include power, fame, and money. One wonders how seriously Mill was actually endorsing such aims to be the overarching objectives of living or whether he was simply expressing his finding that many people actually do take such aims as these for life. The contention is that Mill was indeed recognizing that people do choose such goals in life. After all, happiness has been recognized as an objective of life at least since the time of Aristotle, and virtue has a similarly ancient pedigree. It is quite common for ordinary people to adopt such mottos as “Healthy, wealthy, and wise” as aims for life. But we know that having more than one such value can lead to conflicts. This had been a concern to Sidgwick as well as other nineteenth-century moralists. A resolution to the problem was found by the time of the twentieth century, when it was realized that we should not try to achieve definite objectives, but instead look to some other procedure, such as a variety of evolution, to shape our objectives. In that case, we make plans and evaluate them, as we proceed. We should use our values, as Dewey recommended, for guideposts. The book discusses the methods of arriving at such plans and weighs some of the ethical and moral problems an individual or a society might face at the present time.



Robert Finch is the author of five collections of essays and co-editor of The Norton Book of Nature Writing. He broadcasts a weekly commentary on NPR and serves on the faculty of the MFA in Writing Program at Spalding University in Louisville, KY. He lives in Wellfleet, MA.


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

FEATURED BOOK COVER: TAPPED OUT FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS




Title: TAPPED OUT FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS: STRESS RELIEF USING EFT
Author: Kelley Pryor Amrein & Becki Stevens
Publisher: Creative Spirit Books
Pages: 236
Genre: Nonfiction/Self-Help/Stress-Relief

Book Blurb:

You’re in college and college is stressful. Your stress impacts every facet of life, from classes to grades to work commitments. Even your physical health can be affected. Studies show that college students like you now face more stress than ever, leaving you with less time for relaxation and self-care. When you’re already overburdened, the idea of finding a way to relieve stress sounds like one more way to add extra stress to your life. But, what if you can relieve the stress of college in minutes? What if homework didn’t have to be so hard, and you did have time for school and fun? Tapped Out For College Students: Stress Relief Using EFT, is a guidebook that empowers college students like you, allowing you to reduce your level of stress and opening the door to success in college and in life.

In Tapped Out, college students are introduced to our unique BESD (Because, Emotions, Sensations, and Distress) system, which easily guides them through the tapping process. Once you’ve defined your personal BESD related to a specific issue, you can easily translate this into a tapping session. The book is full of tapping scripts relating to the most common stress-inducing issues you face in college. Students can tap through the scripts as they are written, or they can personalize them, using the responses they develop using the BESD system. 

The Table of Contents is the perfect starting place, allowing students to pinpoint their issue and flip to the appropriate section of the book. Some of the topics covered in the book include time management, homework, exams, relationships, money, health, and preparing for the real world following college.
Students no longer have to be stressed throughout their college career. With Tapped Out as a companion, college students can face the college landscape calmly. This unique book, intended to be used as and when needed, empowers students to control their reactions and respond to each situation successfully. College is stressful. Tapped Out for College Students can help.

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Book Excerpt:


What is Emotional Freedom Techniques or EFT
Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) is a do-it-yourself healing tool that alleviates stress, reduces physical pain and increases your potential for success. It is a non-invasive energy therapy using gen- tle finger tapping on specific meridian points beneath the surface of the skin. The meridians come from Chinese medicine. They create pathways through which Qi (chee), or energy, flows to all parts of the human body. The meridians form the basis of the practice of acupuncture. This idea of energy flowing in the body is, then, certainly not a new one, and it is this theory that EFT works from. In fact, EFT is often termed acupuncture without the needles.
So, how does EFT actually work? EFT’s magic rests in its ability to smooth out disruptions in your energy system. EFT was developed in the 1990s by a Stanford University-trained engineer named Gary Craig. Gary Craig was a student of the forefather of EFT, Roger Callahan, who had previously developed a system of meridian tapping called TFT or Thought Field Therapy. Gary Craig took TFT, a process which used tapping on specific meridian points depending on the emotion you were feeling, and simplified it. He designed the system to stimulate the major meridian points in an unchanging sequence. It does not matter what emotion you are feeling because the tapping remains the same whether you are experiencing anger, fear, sadness or pain. By tapping on the points identified in EFT, you are able to access all the major energy circuits and find relief.
The underpinning of Gary Craig’s work is his discovery statement, which says, “The cause of all negative emotions is a disruption in the body’s energy system.” Using EFT, we tap on the negative emotions from a specific event, for instance the overwhelming stress we feel due to an upcoming examination. Tapping on the stress, the negative emotion, allows the emotion to be released and the energy disruption is then straightened out. This release of the negative allows the flow of positive energy back into your life. With the brain no longer feeling overloaded you are then able to retrieve the information needed to ace the exam.
Here comes the science part of this explanation. Part of the human brain is ancient and has been in operation, working to keep our species alive, for thousands of years. The limbic brain is the oldest, most primitive part of the brain and a part of the limbic brain is a small, almond shaped area called the amygdala. The amygdala is the part of the brain triggered when you are in danger, the relay station that sends out the message for your fight or flight response to kick in. When this response is activated, it signals the body of danger and the hormones adrenaline and cortisol are released. In ancient times, when this part of our brain developed, it was essen- tial for our survival. The release of adrenaline and cortisol fueled our ancestors who were able to flee rather than being eaten by a tiger for lunch. Good for them then, and for us; we’re still here, after all.
You might wonder how this relates to your exam. After all, you are not running from a beast. Interestingly, however, this primitive portion of your brain, the amygdala, cannot detect real “tiger” danger from imagined “stress” danger. Your body senses exam stress as a danger and releases the same fight or flight hormones our ancestors needed to stay alive. Keep in mind that our ancestors did not have stress on a daily or even hourly basis like we do. The brain reacts to this modern-day stress just as it did to the tiger stress; it causes adrenaline and cortisol to be released.
Cortisol has been deemed public enemy number one. When cortisol floods our bodies, we have to physically move to get rid of it. But when there is no tiger to fight or flee from, when the danger is, instead, exam stress, all the stress hormones in our bodies have nowhere to go. The cortisol hangs out and wreaks havoc on our minds and bodies, weakening our immune system, causing damage on a cellular level, leaving us vulnerable to infection. Tapping on the meridian points calms the fight or flight response, allowing our bodies to relax and cortisol levels to drop.
Dr. Dawson Church has done several studies on how tapping affects our bodies. In one randomized controlled study conducted by Dr. Church and his peers, cortisol levels and psychological symptoms of eighty-three patients were tested before and after treatment. The patients were divided into three groups. One group received no therapy but only an hour of rest. Another group received one hour of conventional talk therapy. The third group had a one-hour session of EFT tapping. Subsequent testing revealed that the symptoms in the EFT group decreased more than within the other groups and cortisol levels also dropped significantly. The group which received talk therapy had a reduction in cortisol of 14% while the group receiving EFT had an average reduction in cortisol of 24%.
Another interesting study was released in Energy Psychology Jour- nal in 2013. In this study, a group of college students was divided into two groups to work on various emotional responses using either mindfulness techniques or EFT. The purpose of this work was to determine whether EFT worked or was, instead, simply a placebo effect. The research found that the students using EFT experienced a greater increase in positive emotions and a greater decrease in negative emotions.The students did not experience any significant change in emotions using mindfulness techniques. The conclusion of the researchers was that EFT is not a placebo and can be effective for students experiencing emotional conditions.
EFT has been shown to be effective time and again in scientific studies. It is not a placebo but is an effective energy psychology technique that calms your amygdala, causing a reduction of the stress hormones in your body. Reducing stress may result in relief from physical pain and emotional suffering because stress is often an underlying part of any problems you are facing.
As you tap on the meridian points used in EFT, you will be saying negative statements. You may feel that saying something nega- tive only reinforces its negative power. Actually, that is not true. Imagine that you fail your most important exam of the year. Of course, this has an impact on your GPA and you know you and your parents will not be pleased. So, you decide not to tell your parents about this grade and hope that it all goes away. After all, you are an adult and no one is going to send a note to your folks tattling on you.
Your plan works fine until, somehow, the truth comes out. Maybe you never recovered from that grade. Perhaps it had further reach- ing repercussions than you had anticipated. Whatever the reason, your parents find out. Now what do you do? Perhaps you are relieved. After all, a secret is a big burden to carry. That is how it is with stress and negative emotions we hold inside. They don’t go away until we face them. There is a sense of relief when the secret, or the emotions, are finally revealed.
Tapping is a little like revealing the secret. You cannot feel truly good inside until you face the negative emotions holding you back. Once you recognize and acknowledge the negative it can finally go away.
We follow the expression of our negative emotions with a state- ment of acceptance. This statement could be as simple as “I accept myself.” The acceptance statement is important because, in order to heal you have to accept, or be okay with yourself, right where you are at the moment. This can be a difficult statement for some people to make. If you are having a tough time saying “I accept myself,” use a different statement, one that may be less triggering, such as “I am okay” or “I am open to accepting myself ” or “I accept the situation and am open to change.”
EFT works energetically by releasing the disruptions in your ener- gy system to quickly and easily reduce stress, ease pain, and return you to a calm state. EFT is an energy therapy and, as such, allows your system to heal naturally and easily. It’s time to learn how you can use this technique in your life.
How to Use EFT to Tap It Out!
EF T is easy to master. It doesn’t require any special tools, just your fingers and your words. With a little practice, you’ll be tapping away emotions like stress, anger, sadness and fear as well as physi- cal sensations, like pain or butterflies in your stomach, in no time. This part of the book is designed to give you an introduction into the mechanics of tapping. Here, we’ll show you where you tap, called the tapping points. We’ll talk about how you measure your tapping success. And we will tell you what to say by providing sample tapping scripts. When you are ready, you can add your own words. This is easy and we will take you through the process step- by-step. Soon you will be tapping it out, on your own, like a pro, whenever and wherever.
The BESD: Because, Emotions, Sensations, and Distress
There are four quick steps to follow before you tap; 1) Discover the Because, the situation that has triggered a response or emotion; 2) Identify the Emotion associated with the Because; 3) Notice any physical Sensations associated with the Emotion(s) you’ve identi- fied; 4) Assess your current level of Distress.
Before you begin a tapping session, it’s helpful if you can take a couple of minutes to sit quietly and evaluate what’s going on. Relax and take a deep breath. Ask yourself what’s troubling you right now. It is possible that you will be in a public place and your circumstances may not lend themselves to this part. And some- times the situation and the associated emotions are easy to figure out and you can start tapping immediately. This is especially true once you’ve tapped a few times. But if you aren’t quite sure what’s bothering you, try to find a place to be still and tune into yourself.
Maybe the first thing that comes to mind is the fight you had with your significant other or your roommate. Or maybe you have a test coming up and you have no idea how you’re going to get all the studying done that you know you need to do. You’ve identi- fied what’s bugging you. We call this the because, the situation that triggers an emotional response. Once you know the because, you can find the emotion that relates. Let’s break this out further.
As an example, we will use the upcoming exam as the because. This examination is big; it counts for fifty percent of your grade. It is the one covering a million chapters and pages of notes. Yikes. The test is the because, but what is the emotion you feel when you think about that test? Maybe the emotion is fear. Maybe it’s stress or ten- sion and a resulting sense of overwhelm. All of this is important information to have before you begin to tap.
Let’s talk a minute about the physical sensations that might accom- pany the emotional reaction to your because situation. Maybe you don’t associate your pounding headache or sore shoulder muscles with your emotions, but guess what, they are definitely related. Mel Pohl, MD, FASAM, has found that emotional pain contrib- utes to the chronic pain his patients experience. He believes that approximately 20 percent of chronic pain is sensory but 80 percent of the pain is actually emotional.13 So pay close attention to any physical sensations that arise before or during your tapping. Also, notice if any physical issues get better after EFT. You might recog- nize that your shoulders feel looser or that nasty headache is gone. Yep. EFT can take care of that and more.
We’re almost ready to tap, but before we get started let’s assess the level of distress you feel associated with the exam and the corresponding emotion. Because stress is a common emotional re- sponse to test-taking, let’s use stress in this example. To assess your level of distress, once again take a moment to tune in to your body and ask yourself how bad the stress is on a scale of 0 to 10. Zero equals no stress, which is the goal you would like to achieve through tapping. Ten equals intense stress, as intense as it can get. This scale is called the Subjective Units of Distress or SUD in EFT. In this book, we will simply refer to it as Distress.
No two people respond to something in the same way. Plus, you may feel like your stress is a 5 one moment and it bumps up to an 8 in the next. Additionally, you may feel something is an 8 while someone else may feel it is a 3. EF T empowers you to take control of your emotional response to any situation. It’s okay. Be honest, acknowledge your feelings, and tap them out. Your goal with tap- ping is to reduce your distress level to a point that it’s no big deal.
I Have So Much Homework
Homework and studying can become overwhelming, especially when something is due in every class. Below we’ve designed a general script that you can use to release the stress you’re feeling around homework. If you want, add in the class that is worrying you or the specific homework or exam that you are concerned about. Being more specific is always best.
Take a deep breath in and a long breath out. Tune into how you are feeling about all the work you have to do for your classes. Focus on the emotions and body sensations that you feel. Rate the distress level and begin tapping.
1.  Because: I have so much homework and I don’t know how I’m going to get it all done (add in specific class or home- work)
2.  Emotions: Stress, feeling overwhelmed
3.  Sensation: Tension in my neck, headache
4.  Distress: 0-10 ______
KC: Even though I am stressed and overwhelmed because I have so much work to do, I accept myself.
KC: Even though I am so stressed because I have so much work to do and I have no idea how I’m going to get it all done...it’s overwhelming, I accept myself.
KC: Even though I have so much work to do, I am so stressed out...my neck and head hurt, I accept myself.
EB: I have so much work to do
SE: I don’t think I’ll get it all done and I’m so stressed
UE: All this work (specify class or homework)
UN: I just can’t keep up, it’s overwhelming
CP: I’m never going to get it done on time
CB: All this homework and studying makes my neck and
head hurt
UA: How do other people get it all done?
TH: All this work...(specify class or homework)
EB: How in the world will this apply in real life?
SE: I’m so stressed, I just can’t do it all
UE: So much homework
UN: What if I fail?
CP: What if I do it all wrong?
CB: What if I work so hard and still get a bad grade?
UA: This sucks! My neck is so tight and I have a headache from all this stress...
TH: I’m never going to get through all this homework...
Take a deep breath in and a long breath out. Tune into the feeling and reassess your distress level. Let’s try getting more specific and tune into where you feel the stress in your body. Again, add in your specific class, homework, exam or project.
EB: All this work...(specify class or homework)
SE: I feel the stress in my body
UE: I feel tension my neck
UN: All this stress and tension give me a headache
CP: I’m never going to get all this work done
CB: All this homework and studying for (specify class or homework)
UA: I just want to relax or hang out with my friends
TH: All this stress, I feel the tension in my body
EB: I feel tension in my neck and it’s causing a headache
SE: All this work to do; I’ll never get it done
UE: This sucks so much!
UN: My body is really feeling this stress
CP: I’m never going to get this work done (specify class or homework)
CB: And I won’t get to hang out with my friends with all this work to do
UA: Sometimes I just hate college and all the work I have to do
TH: All this homework, I feel the stress in my neck and head
Take a deep breath and assess your level of distress. If it is higher than a 2 keep tapping through the script above.


About the Authors

Kelley Pryor Amrein is a writer and EFT practitioner. Kelley first discovered Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) in 2007. She used EFT personally and with her family before becoming certified as an AAMET Level Two practitioner in 2014. As a coach, Kelley has witnessed the power of EFT to release negative emotions, relieve stress, and lessen physical pain. As the parent of college students, Kelley believes that Tapped Out is a much-needed resource on college campuses, where stress levels are on the rise. The book provides students with a life-long tool, allowing them to easily alleviate stress and enjoy a healthy and successful life.

You can find Kelley on Amazon at amazon.com/author/kelleyamrein and amazon.com/author/kdpryor




Becki Stevens is an AAMET certified Advanced EFT Practitioner. For the past two years she has owned a successful EFT practice in southern New Hampshire. She works with people of all ages, including college students, to ease their physical and emotional distress. Becki focuses on how a person’s emotions can sabotage their success. Becki believes that Tapped Out For College Students is an empowering introduction to EFT for college students, giving them a tool they can use throughout their lives to relieve stress and foster healthy relationships, creativity, and overall health.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK




Monday, June 19, 2017

Interview with Mystery Author Darden North

Darden North's mystery and thriller novels have been awarded nationally, most notably an IPPY in Southern Fiction for Points of Origin.  The Five Manners of Death joins his other novels Wiggle Room, Fresh Frozen, and House Call. Darden has served on author panels at writing conferences including Killer Nashville, Murder on the Menu, SIBA Thriller Author Panel, and Murder in the Magic City. To book Darden for a book club, book signing, or presentation contact: Darden@DardenNorth.com. A board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist practicing at Jackson (MS) Healthcare for Women, Darden North is Chairman of the Board of Mississippi Public Broadcasting Foundation and member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of the Mississippi Medical Association. He lives in Jackson, Mississippi, with his wife Sally and enjoys family, travel, and, outdoor activities. The Norths have two adult children, who also work in the medical field.
Connect with Darden North on the web:
     Website: www.dardennorth.com
     Facebook
     Instagram: instagram/dardennorth
     Twitter: @dardennorth 
Interview:
Tell us about your book!
     The Five Manners of Death is my fifth mystery/suspense novel. It is available in both hard- and softcover print as well as in eBook. In The Five Manners of Death, there are five ways to die. Natural cause, suicide, accident, and undetermined are soon crossed off Aunt Phoebe’s list, leaving surgeon Diana Bratton to believe that homicide is the only way left. However, the police prove her wrong. Diana learns that murder is indeed her family secret.
Tell us about your publishing process. What was it like? Did you go indie or the traditional way?
     My new novel is published by WordCrafts Press, a small traditional press.
How did you choose the title for your book? Did it come to you right away, before you started writing the story, or did it come later?
     The initial working title was The Butter Club. Next came When the Bee Stings (Read the book and you’ll see the significance of that title!) One of my advance readers, my mother Evelyn, suggested The Five Manners of Death, and I think the final title is dead on.
Tell us about the cover design process. Did you have a basic idea of what your book cover would be like?
     Mike Parker, the editor at WordCrafts Press, asked for my input to the company’s art department regarding the front cover. I told him I could see a big numeral 5 and some blood. He sent me the design, and it was dead on too! I am also very pleased the dustjacket for the hardback edition. I gave a sneak peek to a reader friend, and she called the cover’s art design “Fabulous!”
Who is your cover designer and how did you find him/her?
     The cover designer is by David Warren, a member of the WordCrafts Press team.
How was your experience working with the designer?
     Seamless.
What has been the readers’ response to your cover?
     Edgar Award-nominated author John Floyd told me that this is the tale readers are looking for. He described The Five Manners of Death as “… a fast-moving story of crime and deception in the modern South.”
What tips would you give to authors who are looking for a cover designer?
     A traditional publisher (even a small, independent one) should include the cover design as part of the publishing agreement, and, hopefully, request the author’s input as in my case. However, I believe there are many graphic designers with multiple tools at their disposal who would love to help someone who is self-publishing and should do so economically.
Anything else you’d like to say about your book?
     Let me quote author Martin Hegwood (Jackpot Bay) about the thriller, The Five Manners of Death: “a face-paced ride so filled with twists and turns that it leaves us breathless. North gives us just the right details to make … us want to know what happens next, and that keeps those pages turning.”