Interview with Nick A. Shepherd, author of Reflective Leaders and High-Performance Organizations

Inside the Book

Reflective LeadersTitle: Reflective Leaders and High-Performance Organizations
Author: Nick A. Shepherd and Peter J. Smyth
Publisher: iUniverse
Genre: Business and Economics
Format: Ebook/Paperback

An organization operating in the twenty-first century is different from one that operated during the Industrial Revolution. Today’s focus is on optimizing human potential; people are the enablers of most aspects of intangible value. People develop relationships with suppliers, customers, distributors, and other third parties through which work is executed. In Reflective Leaders and High-Performance Organizations, authors Nick Shepherd and Peter Smyth take an integrated view of organizational performance that blends a focus on both outcomes and relationships.

Reflective Leaders and High-Performance Organizations suggests a framework for developing and applying an improved approach to organizational leadership and management. In addition to philosophy and conceptual approaches, it presents tested practical tools and direction. It also delivers case studies of organizations that have applied Shepherd’s and Smyth’s ideas and realized measurable improvements in the day-to-day activities of the organization, along with measurably improved outcomes from the organizational activity.

Using over twenty years of practical consulting experience as well as careers in management, Shepherd and Smyth demonstrate how effective leaders can maintain a focus on organizational tasks and outcomes and do this while building and enhancing human relationships.

ORDER INFORMATION

Reflective Leaders and High-Performance Organizations is available for order at

amazon

Could you please tell us a little about your book?

Our book is about effective leadership. Children won’t learn from, or trust parents who say one thing and do another, and it’s the same for effective leaders. This book is designed to help existing and aspiring leaders of all kinds “reflect” upon their own personality and behavior and think about the impact this has on how others “see them.”

Who or what is the inspiration behind this book?

In many ways life and experience are the inspiration. Both of us have spent over 40 years each in the workplace and have come to realize that leadership is what “makes the difference” in an organization. We wanted to share what we have learned together in our last 25 years in management consulting especially in how behavior and personality are key success factors – for both individuals and organizations.

What cause are you most passionate about and why?

People; we believe that the greatest waste in the world is the waste of human talent that comes from poor leadership. Almost all people are incredibly talented and the job of the leader is to recognize the unique talents in others and help them develop themselves.

Do you have any rituals you follow when you finish a piece of work?

Not really – other than reviewing the work and learning what we will do better the next time! One piece of writing is similar to one consulting contract – each of them offers a learning opportunity and hopefully helps enhance our personal wisdom that we can then share with others.

Who has influenced you throughout your writing career?

In this particular book we have influenced each other having come from very different backgrounds. It’s probably safe to say that for both of us every single person that we have met in our lives has, in some way impacted and influenced our thoughts and ideas.

What are some of your long term goals?

Nick wants to have “He made a difference” on his headstone; for both of us our whole focus in our careers has been to help others lead more effective lives and develop their own confidence, happiness and self-worth.

Meet the Author

Nick A. Shepherd has more than forty years of business experience. Since 1989, he has owned the management-consulting and professional-development company, EduVision Inc., which provides management-consulting and development services to public and private sector organizations.

Peter J. Smyth has over thirty-five years of experience in the fields of adult education and organizational consultation, counseling, psychology, social work, and mental health. He holds numerous qualifications in the areas of teamwork, leadership, coaching, emotional intelligence, and personal and organizational assessment.

Shepherd and Smyth have worked together for over twenty-five years facilitating workshops and helping clients enhance their teams and leadership capabilities.

Interview with Trillian Anderson, author of The Dawn of Dae

Welcome to Book Marketing Buzz.  Can we begin by having you tell us a little about your book?

Hi! Thanks for having me. The Dawn of Dae is a slipstream urban fantasy and sci-fi dystopian novel that follows the adventures of Alexa Daegberht, who lives to witness the entire world change overnight. Faced with the mystical and magical, she becomes a rare normal human struggling to adapt to the drastically changed society… only to discover that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

With a few new friends in tow, she learns just what it’ll take to survive in a world gone mad. (We’re all mad hatters here! Except Alexa. She’s not.)

What is the first thing you did to promote your book once your publisher accepted your manuscript?

I’m a self-published author, although the process isn’t all that different from traditional publication. It really involves a lot of detail work, double checking everything, finding people who love books as much as I do, and working to make point a and point b all come together.

Mostly, I edited, edited, and edited the book. And then I edited it some more. (My boss (me) is a bit of a wench.)

After that, what happened?

I released my baby into the wilds and let it fly. Flying often involves a few crash landings, but we got off the ground with little difficulty. Here’s hoping for a long and safe flight, my precious book!

What did your publisher do to promote your book? (ignore this is you’re self-published)

Despite some misconceptions, self-publishers have to promote pretty much the same way traditional publishers do… we often just don’t have the same budget they do!

Promoting is actually pretty fun sometimes. Although I didn’t do this with The Dawn of Dae’s release, I did have a pretty swanky launch party on facebook, where I gave away a bunch of awesome prizes to new and old fans alike.

What’s your opinion on blogging?  Do you see that it is helping sell your book or is it not making much difference in terms of sales?  If you blog, do you blog often?

I love blogging. It’s fun. I usually review things on my blog, or I just talk about the state of the union. Sometimes I write about things that catch my attention. As for book sales, I can’t say my blog sells a lot of books, but it does sometimes, which makes it worth it.

Usually, though, my blog is for the hardcore fans who just want to see what I’m up to—and that’s really just as important, if not more important, than the actual sales. It’s also a branding thing. If you see a name often enough…

Well, I wish I could say people have seen my name often enough, but that hasn’t happened quite yet. Maybe soon.

I understand using the social networks to promote your books is also an effective marketing tool.  What social networks do you use and do you find any of them effective?

I use facebook and twitter the most, as these social media outlets let me focus on my writing more than others. I really love google+, but it’s a major time sink for me, and posting to it has become more difficult since they cut off integration with gmail. So, I stopped using it as a general rule, doing once a week or so updates. I really want to get back into it, but I can’t afford hours a day on it.

Are they effective? Sure, I think they are—but you get out of it what you put in. That’s always the rule. Some days, I wish there was a way around this rule.

Besides blogging and using the social networks to promote your books, what other ways are you promoting your book?

I do giveaways on amazon, and when one is running, I notify a lot of book sites to announce the promotion. I’ll also pay to be included in a email blast. Mostly, I just ride social media and hook in with bloggers, as I do enjoy engaging with people directly. A lot of forms of advertisement don’t allow that.

If you had to pick just one book marketing tool that you’ve used to promote your book, which would you say has been the most effective?

Hmm. This is a tough question. I’d have to say book blog tours; I like the intimacy of them, and the book reviews these tours often bring are critical. Without reviews, readers aren’t likely to invest in a title without personally knowing the author—or having the book vetted by a really large publishing house.

Thanks so much for having me—really appreciated.

About The Book



Title: The Dawn of Dae
Series: Dae Portals Book 1
Author: Trillian Anderson
Publisher: Bright Day Publishing
Publication Date: December 1, 2015
Format: eBook  / ePub / PDF – 222 pages
ASIN: B0161ZVY6G
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Buy The Book:


Discuss this book in our PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads by clicking HERE
Book Description:
The chance to attend college is just what Alexa Daegberht needs to break out the mold of her caste. If she can become a Bach, she can escape the poverty she’s endured ever since her parents died when she was five. Only through education can she rise above her birth caste–and she knows it.
All of her plans fall to dust when she opens a portal within her refrigerator, turning her macaroni and cheese casserole into a sentient being. By dawn the next day, the mysterious dae have come to Earth to stay. Hundreds of thousands of people vanish into thin air, and as the days pass, the total of the missing number in the millions. Some say it’s the rapture of the Christian faith.
Alexa knows better: their dae ate them, leaving behind nothing more than dust as evidence of their hunger.
As one of the unawakened, she doesn’t have a dae, nor can she manifest any forms of magical powers. She’s lacking the innate knowledge of what the dae are and what they mean for the world. Now more than ever, she is an outsider. Her survival hinges on her ability to adapt to a world she no longer understands.
Unfortunately, one of the dae has taken notice of her, and he’ll stop at nothing to have her. Alexa’s problems pile up as she’s forced to pick her allegiances. Will she submit to the new ways of the world? Will she become some monster’s pawn? Or, against all odds, can she forge her own path and prove normal humans can thrive among those gifted with powers once the domain of fantasies and nightmares?

Book Excerpt:


Chapter One

My first real memory of my parents was also my last.
It was the refrigerator’s fault I remembered. I should’ve known
better than to expect new appliances in my new apartment; I was lucky to have
appliances at all. I sure as hell couldn’t afford to buy new ones.
The refrigerator, however, was a problem. Every time I looked at it,
I remembered—and my first memory of my parents was how I, Alexa Zoe Daegberht,
had killed them with a wish.
It was the same refrigerator, right down to its smoke-stained,
pebbled surface and its loose handle. The years hadn’t done the damned thing
any favors, and I wondered if the door would fall off its hinges when I opened
it. Then again, they had built things better when I had been a child.
It was too bad I hadn’t been built a bit better. A lot of things
would have been different. It wasn’t my father’s fault no one could touch me
without irritating my sensitive skin. It wasn’t his fault he couldn’t kiss my
cheek like other fathers could with their daughters.
It was his fault he had forgotten; if he hadn’t, my face wouldn’t
have been itching and burning. If he hadn’t forgotten, I wouldn’t have run to
the fridge, using it as a shield against his touch. If he hadn’t forgotten, I
wouldn’t have parroted what he too often said while fighting with my mother:
If you walk out that door, don’t you ever come
back.
Because I had believed it, had wanted it, and had prayed for it,
wishing on a shooting star that night, I had gotten exactly what I wanted. My
parents had walked out the door and left me behind, never to return.
The ocean didn’t like giving up its dead, and planes smacking into
the water didn’t leave a whole lot to salvage.
I dropped my bags on the kitchen floor, spat curses, and kicked the
refrigerator.
It won; beneath the plastic was metal, and it refused to bend. All I
did was crunch my toes, and howling, I hopped around on one foot. Through
tear-blurred eyes, I glared at the offensive appliance.
“I’ll end you,” I swore.
Maybe I could spray paint the damned thing pink; it’d be at least
four years before I earned my degree and rank as a Bach, and until then, I was
stuck with it. Once I became a Bach, I’d be elevated to a better caste—a caste
with a future, and a bright one at that. Once I was a Bach, I could afford to
buy my own appliances, and I’d never have to see that make or model of
refrigerator ever again. If I scored well enough on the exit exams, I had the
slim chance of being accepted for Master training.
I had my entire life ahead of me, and it would be a good one. There
was no way I’d let a stupid refrigerator take that from me.
I kept telling myself that, but I didn’t believe it.
I gave up and went for my last ditch resort; if macaroni and cheese
couldn’t make things better, nothing could.

I left my apartment to explore my new neighborhood and find work,
leaving behind the devil-spawned refrigerator with a week’s worth of macaroni
and cheese casserole cooling inside. If any of the other students found out I
was surviving on pasta flavored with neon-orange powder, I’d be the laughing
stock of the college.
I wanted to create the illusion of having come from somewhere other
than the poorest district in the city, and to do that, I needed money.
Merit-based students like me paid off tuition and housing in labor; I was
doomed to at least four years serving as some professor’s slave. At least I had
ranked high enough to have an apartment instead of a closet in the shared
dorms, but unlike on-campus students, I was on my own for the basics.
There was one place I knew I could find a job in a hurry: the Inner
Harbor. If I had come from any other district, if I had belonged to any other
caste, I wouldn’t have needed to turn to Kenneth Smith for work. But Kenneth
took in those others wouldn’t and made them do his dirty work.
Unfortunately for me, I was good at doing his dirty work. Sighing, I
ducked my head, adopted a brisk stride, and headed towards the water.
Baltimore was a big place, and it took me an hour to navigate my way
through the city’s heart, skirting around the fringe I had once called home. On
the surface, it was a clean, quiet place with carefully trimmed lawns, neatly
pruned trees, and flowers contained in concrete planters.
The scars of rebellion pockmarked the brick buildings, a reminder of
the violence Kenneth Smith and his cohorts had stamped out years ago, turning a
slum into the elite’s paradise.
Once upon a time, the Inner Harbor had been the entertainment
district of Baltimore, a place prone to rioting, a place everyone, no matter
what caste, could go and gamble away their money or find other pursuits, many
of them illegal. Sporting events were popular—if you could afford the entry
fee.
I couldn’t, and Kenneth Smith counted on that. He didn’t want me as a
client, anyway.
He wanted me as one of his hounds, a dog of his endless drug war,
hunting down his non-paying clients, sniffing out dirt on them, and either
luring them into one of his little traps or otherwise acquiring his money. The
method didn’t matter; the money did, and that was that.
I hated the Inner Harbor; if I had a pack of matches, I wouldn’t have
hesitated to light one up in the hope of burning the whole place to the ground.
My temper soured the closer I got to the little townhouse located where the
fringe began and the elite’s playground ended.
No one in their right mind would have believed, not even for a
moment, that Baltimore’s charming, ruthless, and despicable criminal mastermind
lived in such a dingy place, and that was exactly the way Kenneth Smith liked
it.
I knocked four times, paused, and because I was in a bad mood, I gave
the dark-painted door a solid kick, jamming my already aching toes. I didn’t
hop around as I had in my apartment.
One of Smith’s bitches didn’t do something so undignified, not in
public.
The pain I wanted; it served to focus my attention and remind me of
the misery my boss would inflict if I screwed up. Clenching my teeth to keep
quiet, I waited. I heard the thump of someone coming down the stairs, and
several moments later, the lock clicked. The door opened, and Smith’s favorite
dog answered, glaring at me through narrowed eyes.
“You again?”
I smiled at Lily because I knew it would piss her off. “What do you
know? It is! Astonishing. Can I come in, or are we going to put on a show for
everyone in the neighborhood? I didn’t dress the part. I left my lacy panties
at home.”
I didn’t own any lacy panties, but all things considered, I was going
to die a virgin anyway. A kiss on the cheek was enough to give me hives. What
would happen if someone tried to kiss me on the mouth—or do something
far more interesting with me?
I’d probably die.
Lily snarled something incomprehensible under her breath, stepping
back to let me in. “Prissy bitch.”
Blond-haired, blue-eyed, pasty-skinned Lily belonged in a doll shop,
but instead of telling her to go back to selling herself on the street like I
wanted, I asked, “Where’s the boss?”
“Down in the den. He’s with a guest. Wait in the parlor. He’ll come
for you himself, I’m sure.” Lily glared at me, slammed the door, and stomped
her way up the staircase to the second floor, leaving me to mind my own
business in the entry.
I waited by the door.
The parlor always reeked of drugs, but I had kicked my various habits
years ago. As always, the parlor made me want a hit so I could forget
everything, right down to who I was and what I had done to get by.
I had changed. I wasn’t going to let anyone forget it, myself
included.

When the boss came upstairs from the basement alone, I worried.
Waiting the hour for him to finish wasn’t unusual, but the fact he hadn’t
brought his client along meant one of two things: the client had either left
through the tunnels, a conceit of the elite, or I was about to be introduced to
them.
Nothing good happened when my boss introduced me to his clients.
Nothing good came out of meeting with Kenneth right after an audience with one
of the elite.
His fellow elite had a way of pissing him off, especially when they
thought themselves above paying back their debts.
I examined the shining hardwood, wondering if Kenneth made Lily get
on her hands and knees to polish it to perfection. I doubted it; if he had,
neither one of them would have gotten any real work done, and that would hurt
his bottom line.
“It’s not like you to come around here without a summons,” my boss
said, and his soft-spoken words warned me of trouble.
Kenneth was a lot of things, and passionate was one of them. If he
was moderating his voice, it was because he had graduated from annoyed to
murderous, and he didn’t feel like killing me today.
I should’ve been grateful for that.
“You always need another nose to the ground, sir,” I murmured,
keeping still despite my desire to fidget.
Lily really had done a stellar job with the floors. While I couldn’t
make out the details, the wood reflected my dark hair and bronzed skin. My
heritage remained a mystery, dying along with my parents.
Some folks said German because of my last name, but none of the
German-descents I knew had such bronzed skin. I rivaled an Italian, but no
self-respecting Italian I knew had a last name like mine.
I decided it was a good thing I wasn’t all that pretty. I didn’t want
to end up just like Lily, serving the boss to keep him from killing the rest of
us when he had a bad day. I had too many scars, and not all of them marked my
skin.
If he found out about my inability to handle human contact, he’d
probably enjoy knowing he could hurt me with his touch alone. When I left, I’d
have to thank Lily and offer to run errands for her. It was wise to pay back
debts, in advance whenever possible.
The silence stretched on. I gave into my restlessness, shifting my
weight from one foot to the other. My toes still throbbed from their
introduction to his door and the devil-spawned refrigerator in my apartment.
“Fine. Come on, then,” he snapped, pivoting on a heel to head back in
the direction of the basement stairwell.
I followed him, keeping my gaze fixed on his black oxfords, which had
been polished almost as shiny as his prized floors. He took the stairs two at a
time while I took the more cautious approach. With my luck, I’d snap my neck
tumbling down the steps.
“Sit,” he ordered as soon as I crossed over the threshold into his
den.
His den was larger than my apartment, although that wasn’t much of a
feat. Someone had been smoking something recently, and the fumes were strong
enough to make my nose sting. I took a cautious sniff.
Cigar smoke.
At least my standing at college wouldn’t be risked by inhaling
residue from one of Kenneth’s cocktails. If they ever found out I was one of
his associates, though, I was screwed. I relaxed and, without looking up from
his floor, made my way around the couch closest to the door and plopped down on
it. I heard him sit on his armchair, which squeaked as he leaned back.
“I’m not in the mood for your bullshit tonight, my little collie.” My
boss lit up, and the stench of his cigar choked off my breath. I knew better
than to cough, though. All I’d do was piss him off even more.
I chose to ignore the fact he was calling me by a dog breed instead
of my name and nodded my agreement. At least he hadn’t called me Lassie.
If I followed the rules, I’d be okay. I’d leave his house just
fine—and Lily wouldn’t have any extra reasons to hate me. Speaking only when
spoken to, nodding when appropriate, and always, always addressing him by sir
would get me through the meeting.
If the boss had a job for me and paid up, maybe I’d buy Lily a pair
of lace panties—in silk. I could get them now, as long as I had the cash for
them. All I had to do was survive the meeting with Kenneth and do one last job
for him.
“You’re a freshman now, aren’t you?”
Kenneth’s voice was still soft, quiet, and utterly devoid of emotion,
so I drew a deep breath, nodded my head obediently, and whispered, “Yes, sir.”
“Full-merit,” he commented, and his tone took on a rueful edge.
“Yes, sir.”
“Now how the hell did a little mutt like you get into Bach studies on
full-merit?” he demanded, thumping his fist on the arm of his chair. He smacked
it several more times before sighing gustily. “You’re something else, that’s
what you are. I obviously wasn’t keeping you busy enough. I am to blame.”
I flinched.
Whoever had been meeting with him before I had arrived had left
Kenneth in a bad mood, and his ire was directed at me. Any other day, I would
have told him to go cry a river and fill the Chesapeake. I wanted to tell him
to stuff it, but I needed the work, and he needed me.
I could go to the places he couldn’t, and he knew it.
“I studied, sir.”
“You studied. No shit, Collie. What I want to know is how you got
through the application process right under my nose without me knowing a thing
until Lily went out earlier to summon you. Your pad’s already been taken over,
if you weren’t aware.”
The vultures had likely swooped in the minute I had left, but I kept
my mouth shut. If I said a word, it would be something I’d regret. Granted, I
likely wouldn’t regret it for long, but that was a different matter entirely.
I nodded and resumed studying the floor. Lily had missed a spot, and
I’d been around Kenneth Smith long enough to recognize dried blood when I saw
it.
At least it wasn’t fresh.
“Cat’s got your tongue? Fine. Maybe for the better. You’d open your
mouth and make me want to shoot you. You’re right. I want your nose. Son of a
bitch elite backed out on his debt. He’s in Bach studies just like you. Sniff
the bastard out for me. He’s got a taste for crystals and a head for scents. He
also seems to believe he can back out on his debts to me. Get close to him,
learn his haunts, and report to me. I want to know who or what can be used
against him, where he lives, and any significant people in his life—preferably
women. Better yet, make yourself a significant woman to him. You need to
relax.”
I risked lifting my head and stared at Kenneth Smith.
It amazed me I didn’t break out in a rash just from looking at him.
In so many ways, he was an average man; not too tall, not too short, not too
anything, which conspired to make him right in all the wrong ways. My brown
eyes were too dark for any sort of warmth, while his were melted chocolate,
tempting and sensual.
Despite the annoyance of his tone, the corners of his mouth quirked
up in a smile.
I hated Kenneth Smith. Every time I saw him, I wondered what it would
be like to kiss someone. It was his damned mouth, which could flatten to a line
or curve into a ripe smile, shifting with his mood. I could always tell his
mood from the movements of his lips.
His voice said angry, but his mouth promised all of those interesting
things I couldn’t do and Lily could—and would, probably as soon as I left the
house.
“What’s his name?” I asked, reminding myself Kenneth was a dangerous,
foul man. A smart girl didn’t deal with the devil or take him to her
bedroom.
I’d already struck out once in the smart department. I’d probably
punch my own ticket if I tried anything with him. If I didn’t die from an
allergic reaction to him, he wouldn’t appreciate me throwing up on him.
Men had that effect on me.
Kenneth sighed, and I echoed him.
I wondered if he realized we were probably sighing for the same
reason. He had already slept with all of his other bitches, leaving me as the
one who always got away.
If he found out about my allergy, I’d never live it down.
“Sir?”
Silence wasn’t like Kenneth. He chomped on his cigar, grunting his
acknowledgment of my question. I waited, lowering my gaze to the floor to stare
at the brown splotch marring the hardwood.
“Terry Moore. His father runs the stadium. He got hooked six months
back, paid for three months worth of supplies, and decided he was above paying
the rest of the balance.”
I did some mental math, clucking my tongue as I ran through the
various costs of crystals and scents. Crystals appealed to those who enjoyed
tasting their drugs, slowly dissolving on the tongue, while scents came as
either incenses or other forms of inhaled narcotics. Big league players often
spend thousands a week for the good stuff.
The elite settled for nothing less.
If Terry was studying for his Bach like me, he had friends—elite
friends. Buying friendships through drugs wasn’t uncommon, especially among
those who were supposed to be too good for the trade.
“A hundred and fifty thou,” I said, straightening my back and lifting
my chin, defying my boss with my glare. “Small change for you. There’s gotta be
more to it than that. You don’t move against the elite for pennies.” I paused,
sucked in a breath as I remembered I wasn’t supposed to piss him off, and
added, “Sir.”
Kenneth’s smile widened to a grin. “Can’t let anything slip by you,
can I? You’re right. It is small change. Under normal circumstances, I’d let it
get up to at least half a mil. But, he made off with some of my new stuff, and
I want it back.”
Reaching down beside his chair, he lifted up a metal cage containing
a variety of test tubes. They were filled with a red liquid with the same
viscosity as blood. He lifted one out, sloshing it around. “Little Bachs don’t
want to get caught on the tests, so he wanted something for school-year use.
This baby doesn’t register on any of the current tests. You can dry it into a
powder. You can inject it, and you can even drink it if you want. It’s mellow
enough, long-lasting, gives one hell of a nice high, and doesn’t impair
function too much. Best of all, it doesn’t seem to cause much damage when it
wears off.”
If he was speaking the truth, he had likely found the Holy Grail of
the drug world.
“How many uses in one of those vials?”
“A few,” he evaded.
I narrowed my eyes, considered the few clues he had given me, and
shrugged. “How many vials did he make off with?”
“A dozen.”
“And you haven’t killed him yet?” I blurted.
Kenneth arched a brow at me. “He can’t pay me if he’s dead. After
he’s paid, I’ll think about it.”
I grimaced. One day I would learn to keep my mouth shut. “Get the
info and retrieve the drugs if possible. Anything else, sir?”
“I wouldn’t say no to you bringing me my money along with the info
and the drugs.”
Somehow, I kept from saying even one of the hundreds of snarky,
sarcastic comments flitting through my head. Any one of them would piss him off
even more, and there was only so far I could push him before he decided to go
for his gun. “I don’t think I can carry that much cash, sir, and I really doubt
he’ll give me his bank account details.”
“You could always sniff them out for me. You’re good at sneaking off
to places you shouldn’t go—like college.”
I scowled. “I said I would sniff, not bite, sir. Biting is Lily’s
job.”
“One of these days, Collie, you’re going to piss me off.”
I widened my eyes, raising my hand to cover my mouth. “You mean I
haven’t already?”
“Every day. Get out of here, bitch. I don’t want to see your face at
my house until you have his info and my drugs. And don’t you even think about
forgetting my money.”
I escaped while I could and risked taking the steps two at a time.
About The Author
Opener of Portals. Urban Fantasy Author. Mistress of Giggles. Warped Sense of Humor.
Trillian Anderson is, like so many of us, a figment of someone’s imagination. She was born somewhere in the United States, loves to travel, and has no scruples about moving to new and interesting places around the world. She loves fantasy fiction of all types, but holds a special fondness for urban fantasies, epic fantasies, and stories capable of capturing her imagine.
Most of all, she enjoys grabbing a flashlight, hiding under the blankets, and pretending she’s asleep when she’s, in actuality, reading a beloved book.
Connect with Trillian Anderson:
Virtual Book Tour



Click on the above link for a schedule of tour participants.


Book Feature! The Somerset Ball by Mikel D. Smith – Win a $25 Gift Card

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Somerset Ball

Title: The Somerset Ball

Author: Mikel D. Smith

Publisher: iUniverse

Genre: Sport & Recreation

Format: Ebook

The 1970 Tilghman baseball team was a conglomeration of students from all over Paducah, a town of about thirty thousand in West Kentucky. The Blue Tornado already had a proud history of success in football, basketball, track and baseball.

However, little was expected from this year’s team. Fielding a starting roster and coaches with limited experience, the team began with a mediocre record, but became a tough opponent as the season progressed- ultimately surprising everyone by making it to the finals of the Kentucky State High School Tournament. The tournament was one of the most memorable in Kentucky sports history, including teams from Madisonville, Louisville Trinity, Lexington Lafayette, Somerset, Russell, Covington Catholic, Elizabethtown and Paducah Tilghman.

This is a story about growing up in a small Midwestern town – remembering life in Paducah and a tribute to the great players across the State as told through photographs, statistics, news accounts and memories of the 1960s.

ORDER INFORMATION
The Somerset Ball is available for order at
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Mikel D. Smith, MD is a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiology at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. He grew up in Paducah, Kentucky, and was a 1970 graduate of Paducah Tilghman High School, where he played baseball in his senior year. The great memories of his childhood and his love of sports inspired him to write this book.

Mikel is giving away a $25 Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Gift Certificate to the e-retailer of your choice
  • This giveaway begins January 11 and ends on January 22.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on January 23.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.

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Book Feature! The Prevention of Crohn’s Disease by Gilles R.G. Monif M.D.

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Inside the Book:

The Prevention of Crohn's Disease
Title: The Prevention of Crohn’s Disease
Author: Gilles R.G. Monif, M.D.
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Genre: Health
Format: Ebook

Prior to 1936, Crohn’s disease was a rare and unrecognized disease entity. Today, the United States is the midst of a rapidly growing epidemic. It is estimated that between 800,000 and 1.2 million citizens are currently afflicted. The unanswered question is WHY? In the 1990s, circumstantial scientific data inferred a potential causal relationship between Crohn’s disease in humans and mycobacterial pathogen in domestic animals, Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP). When it was documented that MAP survived pasteurization and was potentially present in milk, infant formula, and powdered milk, a global precautionary alarm button should have been pushed by those who govern in the public trust. PREVENTION OF CROHN’S DISEASE describes MAP’s journey across the zoonotic bridge between animals and humans and the unique circumstances by which it allegedly produces disease.

ORDER INFORMATION
The Prevention of Crohn’s Disease is available for order at
amazon

Meet the Author:

Gilles R. G. Monif, M.D. has served as Special Interest Consultant for Infectious Diseases to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. A world recognized leader in infectious diseases that affect women and their unborn infants, he co-founded the Infectious Disease Society for Obstetrics and Gynecology. His text book Infectious Diseases in Obstetrics and Gynecology, currently in its sixth edition, is the standing reference text for the discipline.

Giveaway

Gilles is giving away a $25 Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Gift Certificate to the e-retailer of your choice
  • This giveaway begins January 11 and ends on January 22.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on January 23.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

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Book Feature! Crazy Tales on the Running Trails by Joe Sinclair – Win a $25 Gift Card

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Crazy TalesTitle: Crazy Tales on the Running Trails

Author: Joe Sinclair

Publisher: iUniverse

Genre: Humorous Fiction

Format: Ebook

Distance walkers and runners can generate some of the funniest stories. As these individuals dedicate themselves to the world of fitness, many crazy things can happen on a trail, greenway, or asphalt. Thousands of fitness enthusiasts choose asphalt as their favorite body-pounding material for long-distance events.

Through the fictional character of long-distance runner Joe Pounder, Crazy Tales on the Running Trails, by author and athlete Joe Sinclair, offers a spirited collection of stories describing humorous events that occurred during running events held on asphalt or trails. In his running world of pounding more than 5,000 miles of pavement, Pounder has observed much more than just the thrill of victory or the agony of defeat.

Crazy Tales on the Running Trails shares stories featuring peculiar events as seen through the eyes of the infamous Pounder on his journeys across the asphalt. This humorous look at the running world brings together a host of unique characters who meet up along the world’s trails.

ORDER INFORMATION
Crazy Tales on the Running Trails is available for order at
amazon

Joe Sinclair is an author, educator, and athlete. He earned a doctoral degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and served as superintendent of schools in various North Carolina districts for more than twenty years. Sinclair and his wife, Claryce, live in Statesville, North Carolina.

Joe Sinclair is the author of: Putting Life on the Finish Line Getting Older, Moving Smarter The Marathon Called Educational Leadership Two Worlds of Educational Leaders Lulu the Snow Goat Queenie and Little Joe

Carla Leslie has worked in public education and the travel/tourism business throughout her career. In addition to having an avid interest in creative writing, Carla enjoys web design, videography, and traveling to historic places. She has established two online bridal/home décor shops and enjoys sharing her 100-year old farm and other vacation retreats with friends and tourists who travel through her native state of West Virginia (www.CountryCabinWV.com). Carla and her husband, Jim, reside in Wilkesboro, North Carolina.

Joe is giving away a $25 Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Gift Certificate to the e-retailer of your choice
  • This giveaway begins December 7 and ends on January 11.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on January 23.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

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Interview with Loren Abbey, author of A Massacre of Innocents

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A Massacre of InnocentsTitle: A Massacre of Innocents

Author: Loren Abbey & Pamela Zibura

Publisher: iUniverse

Genre: True Crime/Murder

Format: Ebook

In 1952 on a highway in the small Northern California mountain village of Chester, a local businessman and four small children are carjacked, robbed and savagely bludgeoned. Three of the children are killed.

A year earlier, a Folsom gold mine operator had been murdered in a home break-in robbery attempt and five months after the Chester murders, the quiet Southern California city of Burbank is rocked when, during another home break-in, an elderly widow is found bound, gagged and brutally murdered in her own home.

Thus begins the terrifying chronicle of the Mountain Murder Mob’s deadly rampage up, down and through the Golden State—from the gritty back alleyways of the Los Angeles suburbs to the forested foothills of the Northern Sierras—a gang of ruthless killers ply their murderous trade by preying on society’s most vulnerable citizens.

And behind the scenes, the victims’ young wife and mother copes with the grief of a life turned upside down after her heartbreaking loss. Struggling to build a new life for herself and for what now remains of her devastated family, she leans on her unwavering faith and a deep reservoir of inner strength.

A Massacre of Innocents is the previously untold true story of the Mountain Murder Mob’s horrific crimes and how they ultimately paid for those crimes.

How did you come up with the title of your book?

We wanted the title to define what the content of the book was truly about.

What is your writing environment like?

A desk and computer.

What are some of the best tools available today for writers?

We have found the internet to be invaluable in some of the research we had to do for the book.

What inspires you to write?

Having a fascination with the written word; how these words, in various combinations, can be used to describe a scene or an emotion or to express feelings.

Did you learn anything while writing this book?

That with a lot of determination,  dedication and hard work that we basically learned how to write a book. It is very rewarding to have a finished product.

What is your favorite quality about yourself?

Living to be this old and knowing there is still much more to come.

Loren Abbey has been a prolific blogger and contributor to a number of periodicals and trade journals. A former Silicon Valley executive, he is now retired, residing in Roseville, California.

Pamela Zibura is a successful realtor and mother of four grown children, She resides with her husband Tony, in South Carolina near the historic antebellum city of Charleston. A Massacre of Innocents is her first book.

Interview with Alexis Georg Hoen, author of Christianity and Cosmic Consciousness

Title: Christianity and Cosmic Consciousness

Author: Alexis Georg Hoen

Publisher: iUniverse

Genre: Religion

Format: Ebook

Born in the Ukraine, educated in Munich, and having practiced medicine in the United States, author Alexis Georg Hoen has been exposed to widely differing political systems and religious beliefs, and he has always maintained an interest as to the origin of these beliefs and their relation to the innermost nature of man. In Christianity and Cosmic Consciousness, he interprets the words and the sacrifice of Jesus as pointing the way toward a realization of our innermost nature—the will to live and love that exists within all.

Sharing his experiences and ideas about Christ’s words and sacrifice, Hoen uses personal anecdotes and biblical examples to illustrate the nature of Christian belief. He provides a host of examples, including key illustrations from the Bible and relevant source material from other writers who address this topic. He shows us that through sacrifice we live in and for others. That is eternal life.

Christianity and Cosmic Consciousness represents the core of Christian teaching without resorting to the supernatural and miraculous, yet doesn’t try to disprove it.

Could you please tell us a little about your book?

The essential thoughts in my book are as follows:
The innermost nature of all that exists, be it molecules, rocks, plants or animals, conscious or not is the divine principle of creative advance into novelty, a term coined by Alfred North Whitehead. In simpler terms, our
common innermost nature is the need and the power to create and to love the creatures. This is also the essence of the Divine Principle, of God. Therefore, we are all children and representatives of God , and the difference between every one of us and Jesus is merely a quantitative one.
In addition to the positive principle of creative advance everything contains the negative principle of death and destruction without which the positive principle (God) could not manifest itself. Evil is real and necessary.
Support of creation, of Being in general, implies love of the creatures and yet Being in general can only be manifested by individual beings that are necessarily in some way opposed to each other. I occupy space no one else can occupy, in order to eat I have to destroy. I am a part and apart at the same time. This our “original fault,” not some sort of an original sin inherited from Adam.
The realization of our innermost nature, co-extensive with that of the universe for the duration of time conveys a sense of immortality. Through sacrifice for others we live in them and through them. This is symbolized by the death and resurrection of}esus, be it historical or not. Jesus’s words teach us the truths stated above.

Who or what is the inspiration behind this book?

I had the opportunity to express the thoughts I outlined above, and it was well received. Thus I decided my views may be of interest to a larger number of listeners.

What cause are you most passionate about and why?

I am most passionate about life because that is what everyone, including myself, clings to according to his or her nature. I am trying to find a way to live beyond myself whether there is some kind of life after death or not.

Do you have any rituals you follow when you finish a piece of work?

No ritual.

Who has influenced you throughout your writing career?

I cannot say that any one person has particularly influenced the development of my thoughts but talking to my children has helped to solidify them. My deceased wife taught me the meaning of love. In terms of philosophy I have been most influenced by Alfred North Whitehead.

What are some of your long term goals?

My goal is to have as many people as possible see things my way.

Alexis Georg Hoen attended medical school in Munich. He immigrated to the United States at age twenty-five, and he practiced medicine in Los Angeles for fifty years. In addition to the study of religion, he enjoys gardening and spending time with his three children and six grandchildren.

Book Blast! Christianity and Cosmic Consciousness by Alexis Georg Hoen

Title: Christianity and Cosmic Consciousness

Author: Alexis Georg Hoen

Publisher: iUniverse

Genre: Religion/Christianity

Format: Ebook/Paperback

Born in the Ukraine, educated in Munich, and having practiced medicine in the United States, author Alexis Georg Hoen has been exposed to widely differing political systems and religious beliefs, and he has always maintained an interest as to the origin of these beliefs and their relation to the innermost nature of man. In Christianity and Cosmic Consciousness, he interprets the words and the sacrifice of Jesus as pointing the way toward a realization of our innermost nature—the will to live and love that exists within all.

Sharing his experiences and ideas about Christ’s words and sacrifices, Hoen uses personal anecdotes and biblical examples to illustrate the nature of Christian belief. He provides a host of examples, including key illustrations from the Bible and relevant source material from other writers who address this topic. He shows us that through sacrifice we live in and for others. That is eternal life.

Christianity and Cosmic Consciousness represents the core of Christian teaching without resorting to the supernatural and miraculous, yet doesn’t try to disprove it.

ORDER INFORMATION
Christianity and Cosmic Consciousness is available for order at
amazon

Alexis Georg Hoen attended medical school in Munich. He immigrated to the United States at age twenty-five, and he practiced medicine in Los Angeles for fifty years. In addition to the study of religion, he enjoys gardening and spending time with his three children and six grandchildren.

Alexis is giving away a $25 Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Gift Certificate to the e-retailer of your choice
  • This giveaway begins November 30 and ends on December 11.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on December 12.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

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Reflective Leaders and High-Performance Organizations by Nick A. Shepherd and Peter J. Smyth


Title: Reflective Leaders and High-Performance Organizations

Author: Nick A. Shepherd and Peter J. Smyth

Publisher: iUniverse

Genre: Business and Economics

Format: Ebook/Paperback

An organization operating in the twenty-first century is different from one that operated during the Industrial Revolution. Today’s focus is on optimizing human potential; people are the enablers of most aspects of intangible value. People develop relationships with suppliers, customers, distributors, and other third parties through which work is executed. In Reflective Leaders and High-Performance Organizations, authors Nick Shepherd and Peter Smyth take an integrated view of organizational performance that blends a focus on both outcomes and relationships.

Reflective Leaders and High-Performance Organizations suggests a framework for developing and applying an improved approach to organizational leadership and management. In addition to philosophy and conceptual approaches, it presents tested practical tools and direction. It also delivers case studies of organizations that have applied Shepherd’s and Smyth’s ideas and realized measurable improvements in the day-to-day activities of the organization, along with measurably improved outcomes from the organizational activity.

Using over twenty years of practical consulting experience as well as careers in management, Shepherd and Smyth demonstrate how effective leaders can maintain a focus on organizational tasks and outcomes and do this while building and enhancing human relationships.

ORDER INFORMATION
Reflective Leaders and High-Performance Organizations is available for order at
amazon

Nick A. Shepherd has more than forty years of business experience. Since 1989, he has owned the management-consulting and professional-development company, EduVision Inc., which provides management-consulting and development services to public and private sector organizations.

Peter J. Smyth has over thirty-five years of experience in the fields of adult education and organizational consultation, counseling, psychology, social work, and mental health. He holds numerous qualifications in the areas of teamwork, leadership, coaching, emotional intelligence, and personal and organizational assessment.

Shepherd and Smyth have worked together for over twenty-five years facilitating workshops and helping clients enhance their teams and leadership capabilities.

Nick and Peter are giving away a $25 Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Gift Certificate to the e-retailer of your choice
  • This giveaway begins November 30 and ends on December 11.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on December 12.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

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Life/Death Rhythms of Capitalist Regimes – Debt Before Dishonour by Will Slatyer Book Blast

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The Life Death RythmsTitle: Life/Death Rhythms of Capitalist Regimes – Debt Before Dishonour

Author: Will Slatyer

Publisher: Partridge Publishing

Genre: Business and Economics

Format: Ebook/Paperback

Life/Death Rhythms of Capitalist Regimes – Debt before Dishonour explores the cyclical theory of cultural development, with particular attention paid to the introduction of democratic forms of government in the British Empire and the United States republic. The cyclical theory allows a forecast of the fading of the dominance of the United States as an imperial power.

Similar to cultural survival of the loss of dominance experienced by the British Empire after the Great War, the United States will survive in a new form. Which superpower will take over the reins remains to be seen, but the likely contender is the People’s Republic of China. This conclusion and the timing will allow long-term planning by corporations and governments. In the age of political correctness, it is unlikely that readers will experience any such forecasts by government bodies.

Throughout history, societies have used and abused debt, revolted and warred over debt, and have forbidden usury. But the modern financial world as we know it simply cannot exist without usury. Since the 1400s, modern governments have found new ways to expand debt to produce modern economies, which are still subject to the age-old basic principle of debt – that it needs to be repaid or dire consequences ensue.

ORDER INFORMATION
Life/Death Rhythms of Capitalist Regimes is available for order at
amazon

Will is giving away a $25 Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Gift Certificate to the e-retailer of your choice
  • This giveaway begins November 30 and ends on December 11.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on December 12.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

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