Book Promo ~ Journey of the Self: Memoir of an Artist

Ruth Poniarski set out to find the ideal friend and the perfect mate,
but what she encountered were spells of paranoia, extreme anxiety, and hallucinations.

Long Island native Ruth Poniarski’s first book, Journey of the Self: Memoir of an Artist, published by Charlotte, North Carolina-based Warren Publishing, is a stunning and unflinchingly honest memoir that challenges the stigma placed on mental illness. The book has received glowing reviews, including a Kirkus Star review.

It started as a college prank; a friend offered Ruth Poniarski a brownie that, unbeknownst to her, was laced with angel dust. What resulted was a debilitating accident, and the first of many mental breakdowns that spiraled into diagnoses of psychosis, schizophrenia, severe anxiety and bipolar disorder.
For years, Poniarski struggled to cope with her new reality as she undertook a rigorous architectural program, sought out new friends (and the perfect mate) and battled through the depths of mental illness. Her journey led her in all directions as she sought comfort, solace, stability and love.
Now an accomplished artist, Poniarski considers her memoir to be a portrait of sorts.

“This book, like many of my paintings, is about introspection,” she says. “So many of us, particularly when we’re young, seek definition through labels or through what others think of us. It’s so easy to say, ‘I have bipolar disorder, therefore, X,’ or, ‘So and so doesn’t love me the way I love him, therefore, Y.’ But none of that is who we truly are.”
The release of Poniarski’s memoir is particularly timely in light of the coronavirus pandemic and social distancing orders.

“People were stuck at home for months or a year––or more. This kind of isolation forces a person to examine themselves; what makes them unique beyond who they are to society,” says Poniarski. “That kind of self-reflection allows us to become more available to others. You have to know yourself first.
“So, who am I?” Poniarski laughs. “Well … you’ll just have to read the book!”

For more information about Ruth Poniarski or her book, please visit:

Journey of the Self: Memoir of an Artist
ISBN: 978-1734707557

Available at,
Amazon Kindle


After Poniarski inadvertently consumed PCP at a college party, she found herself consumed by the notion of an incoherent conspiracy involving socialists and alien craft-which she continued to have after the drug wore off. “My brain fed me lies,” she says of the experience, which caused her parents to put her under the care of a psychiatrist for the first time. Her memoir continues from this moment, recounting her tumultuous 20s during the late 1970s and early ’80s in New York City. Poniarski struggled to finish an architecture degree as she bounced from one program to another, unable to successfully finish courses and fearful that her peers might learn of her “psychotic side.” In a similar manner, she shuttled between her parents’ home on Long Island and apartments in Manhattan, her independence constantly jeopardized by paranoid thoughts and mistrust of roommates and friends. Most poignant, however, is Poniarski’s account of search for a suitable romantic partner. As she struggles with shame about her sexual feelings, she finds herself drawn to various lovers who each reject her, which only fuels her desire to break out of a lonely existence. Poniarski tells a story with heavy themes, but her prose remains graceful throughout. As she recounts outrageous thoughts and actions, she does so in a manner that not only gets across her distorted view of reality, but also the very real emotions she felt; at one point, for instance, she tells of slapping a man on an airplane after falsely thinking that he was making fun of her. In her fractured accounts of exchanges with colleagues, friends, and lovers, Poniarski also offers clever insights into sexism, the high expectations of her affluent Jewish community, and changing attitudes toward mental health. Kirkus Reviews 

Book Promo ~ 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 by [Ray "BEN" Studevent, Ph.D. My Haley]

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:

Amazon Review
Black Sheep is a profoundly powerful tome about making peace with your past by daring to face it. I was stirred with emotion, and connected intimately with this memoir on so many levels. It is a must read for anyone seeking healing and redemption from the ghosts of their past.” ––Sophia A. Nelson, award-winning journalist and nonfiction author; CNN political and legal commentator

Black Sheep
Publisher: HCI Books
ISBN-10: 0757323812
ISBN-13: 978-0757323812

Available on
Amazon Kindle
Amazon Paperback

Book Promo ~ Called to Lead

Women: Fuel Your Passion to
Influence, Impact and Inspire Others

Called to Lead: Success Strategies for Women by [Pegine Echevarria, Plus 17 INSPIRATIONAL WOMEN]

Called to Lead: Success Strategies for Women

Do you feel an innate desire to speak up, take charge and help make your organizations and communities stronger? Don’t ignore your instinct to lead— own it. It’s your superpower, and you should embrace it, nurture it and use it for powerful, positive outcomes, advises Pegine Echevarria, Power Women Worldwide founder. 

Pegine, along with Mindy Gibbins-Klein, Diana Watson, Cindy Tschosik plus 14 other successful female leaders from diverse backgrounds share their stories, techniques and actionable tips in Called to Lead: Success Strategies for Women.

Timely topics such as Leading Unexpectedly in a Crisis, Mental Wellness, Cross-Cultural Leadership and Be the Trigger for the Change, plus many others, are covered through thoughtful, uplifting chapters from each contributing author.  

The consortium of talented, powerful women featured in Called to Lead have thrived in their respective fields while enjoying vibrant personal lives. Each woman draws upon her unique strengths and experiences to deliver relevant, useful strategies to help other women grow and succeed while balancing family, relationships and self-care.

Called to Lead is organized into five sections, each comprised of several chapters:

1. The Power of Being Called to Lead;
2. The Power of Self-Mastery in Leadership;
3. The Power of Influential Leadership;
4. The Power of Emotions and The Mind in Leadership; and
5. The Power of Leadership Love.

Leadership is a calling. The guidance and mentoring from each of the influential female leaders in Called to Lead aims to help readers answer the call with know-how and confidence.

“You are a leader,” says Pegine. “Embrace your gift. Invest in yourself and your leadership skills. The world wants and needs women who lead. Be bold. Be brave. Be seen. Be heard. Be paid well. Be you.”

About the Authors

Pegine Echevarria, MSW, HoF, CVP

Quoted in The New York TimesForbesThe Wall Street Journal and featured on Speaker and Minority Business Enterprise magazines, Pegine, who goes by her first name, is the only Latina in the Motivational Speakers Hall of Fame, alongside stars like Jack Canfield. Through Power Women Worldwide groups, she focuses on uplifting women in leadership. She is the founder and leader of multi-million-dollar businesses and a sought after speaker and presenter. Pegine has received business recognition from the Women’s Business Minority National Council, the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Small Business Administration, which named her a Women in Business Champion. 

Mindy Gibbins-Klein, MBA, CVP

Mindy Gibbins-Klein is a multi-award-winning international speaker, thought leadership strategist, book coach and publisher. She has authored and co-authored 10 books, and has presented to and coached over 50,000 business executives and entrepreneurs in 18 countries. Mindy created The Book Midwife® brand, and designed the methodology that has helped over one thousand leaders to take their ideas and turn them into thought-leading books. 

Diana Watson, MA, MS, DTM

“Am I Strange?” is Diana Watson’s most renowned presentation with over one million views within two weeks. As a bilingual professional, Diana also presents in Mandarin, and this one video transformed how the world views Black people who speak Chinese. Her first book, The Speaking Seed: Secrets to Successful Foreign Language Public Speaking, is the first book ever dedicated to foreign language public speaking. 

Cindy Tschosik 

Cindy Tschosik is a certified ghostwriter, professional speaker and mental wellness advocate. For more than 25 years, Tschosik held leadership roles in legal, corporate, IT and nonprofits. In 2013, she launched SoConnected, a full-service marketing firm for business owners and professional speakers. During a challenging summer in 2008, Tschosik was diagnosed with major depressive disorder. Her mission came out of her mental wellness journey. 

Called to Lead: Success Strategies for Women
Publisher: Panoma Press
ISBN-10: 1784529362
ISBN-13: 978-1784529369

Available from

Book Promo ~ Inside Amazon: My Story

Gisela Hausmann’s experiences as a small publisher,
a top reviewer, an indie author, and a warehouse associate

Inside Amazon: My Story by [Gisela Hausmann]

Her story begins in 1997 when she decides to self-publish a book. As Hausmann takes a closer look at Jeff Bezos’ new online bookstore the mass media expert begins to suspect that Jeff Bezos has loftier goals than selling books.

Having the opportunity to take advantage of Amazon’s fantastic PR tools for self-published authors in the late nineties Hausmann becomes a fan. She sees Bezos as “the new Gutenberg” and the “most powerful defender of the First Amendment.”

But tragedy strikes and Hausmann must switch gears. She embarks on a career in the transportation industry, first at Fedex and then at a NVOCC and freight forwarder. A few years later she begins writing books again, on the side.

She earns an excellent reputation as an author of “naked,” no-fluff, no-nonsense non-fiction books and some of her books get featured in major publications. But eventually, the Kindle self-publishing platform loses its appeal for Hausmann. Fake review writers, scammers, questionable “book marketers,” and authors who are mostly motivated by the idea to publish books as a “means of building a passive income” have done their damage.

By 2019, Hausmann is irritated with U.S. politics and the economy; she still remembers living through the Great Recession all too well. Hence, when by chance, she finds out that Amazon opened a warehouse in her hometown she decides to apply for a job. She wants to work her way up at her favorite company.

Though, in the months to come, Hausmann cannot discover any “Amazon Day-1 thinking” at the warehouse she stays optimistic and tries her best to embody Amazon’s leadership principles.

Then, the Covid crisis strikes.

Inside Amazon is compelling because, for the longest time, Hausmann keeps rooting for the company. She does not look at what is going on at the warehouse through the eyes of a labor activist but as a transportation and marketing professional and actively searches for applications of Jeff Bezos’ “Day 1”-philosophy and the company’s leadership principles.

Alas, at the warehouse where she works for 468 days, the transportation professional sees only one of Jeff Bezos’ leadership principles in action – uninspiring (instead of clever) “frugality.”

Gisela Hausmann
About Gisela Hausmann

Gisela Hausmann is a 29 yr. self-publishing industry veteran, an email evangelist and a top reviewer.

Her work has been featured in regional, national, and international publications including Success magazine (print) and Entrepreneur, on Bloomberg, The Innovation Show – a show for Square Pegs in Round Holes, “The Brutal Truth about Sales & Selling”-podcast, and Austria’s Der Standard and Das Wirtschaftsblatt. Gisela is a graduate of the University of Vienna, Austria.

A unique mixture of wild risk-taker and careful planner, she globe-trotted almost 100,000 kilometers on three continents, including to the locations of her favorite books: Doctor Zhivago’s Russia, Heinrich Harrer’s Tibet, and Genghis Khan’s Mongolia.

Her motto:
Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.”-Napoleon Hill


Publisher : Educ-Easy Books (May 8, 2021)

Publication date : May 8, 2021

Available on AMAZON KINDLE

Book Promo ~ Department of Death

Department of Death:
A Nick Hoffman Mystery

by Lev Raphael

Years ago Nick Hoffman was given a position in the English Department at the State University of Michigan because SUM wanted to hire his partner as writer-in-residence, but now he’s been unexpectedly installed by his dean as chairman of that department. It’s a wildly unpopular choice, and he’s suddenly the focus of more animosity from his colleagues than he’s ever dealt with before. He can’t seem to make anyone happy and can’t get a handle on his myriad new responsibilities as an administrator, a position he never wanted. Then tragedy strikes again way too close to home: Someone seeking his help is murdered, and under the shadow of another recent murder, Nick is a prime suspect. Hounded by campus police, the local press, and social media, Nick wonders if this could finally be the end of his career―that is, if he manages to stay out of prison.

In the spirit of David Lodge, Francine Prose, Richard Russo and Jane Smiley, Department of Death is Lev Raphael’s most blistering satire yet of the current perversity of academic life.


Raphael makes the most of the academic setting of his immensely enjoyable 10th mystery featuring Nick Hoffman, a literature professor at the State University of Michigan (after 2019’s State University of Murder). After reluctantly accepting an administrative position as the interim chair of the English and Creative Writing Department, Nick must deal with petty faculty rivalries and with an associate chair who proposes that students read digital texts instead of printed texts (“Digital reading puts readers in control and defies the patriarchy”). Late one night, Nick gets a call from associate dean Boris Hernandez, who wants Nick to meet him at his office right away to discuss an urgent matter. When Nick and his partner, Stefan Borowski, SUM’s writer-in-residence, get to Boris’s office, they find him slumped over his desk with a bloody head wound. This latest murder validates Nick’s fiefdom’s nickname of the Department of Death, and Nick and Stefan once again hit the sleuthing trail. Raphael’s witty prose enhances a crafty plot. Fans of Robert Barnard and Jane Langton will be pleased. – PUblishers Weekly

Lev Raphael skewers academic pretensions with wicked glee [and] Dickensian flair. —Chicago Sun-Times

Lev Raphael combines stylish literary mystery with an intimate look at the jungle of academia…witty, impeccably written. —The Mystery Review

About the Author

Lev Raphael is the author of twenty-six books in genres from memoir to mystery. His work has been translated into over a dozen languages and he’s also the author of hundreds of short stories, essays, and blogs. Raphael was a longtime reviewer of crime fiction for the Detroit Free Press, a guest reviewer on Michigan Radio and other public radio shows, and hosted his own talk show where he interviewed authors like Salman Rushdie and Julian Barnes. He lives in Michigan with his longtime spouse

Visit Lev Raphael’s Blog
Writing Across Genres

  • Publisher : Perseverance Press (April 9, 2021)
  • Language : English
  • Paperback : 256 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1564746194
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1564746191

Available from

Barnes & Noble

Book Promo ~ Death by Chaos

Distinctive Female Characters Propel Engaging
Murder Mystery, Death by Chaos

 They are the undisputed “goddesses” of their Southern California liberal arts college. The four women met as randomly assigned roommates, and despite their diverse backgrounds and interests, they have a bond that will last for decades. Tasha is the flirty theater arts major; Elizabeth, gifted with classic beauty and intelligence, majors in pre-law; Dawn is the intuitive daughter of a single Navajo mother, and an outstanding psychology student; and Miranda is an athletic, ultra-liberal journalism major. With distinct talents and trajectories, each young woman seems destined for a Charmed Life. But just before graduation, a student is found murdered. Suspicion falls in their midst, and destinies are changed forever.  

Death by Chaos is a clever, entertaining mystery from Renaii West, with complex female characters, colorful dialogue and enough surprises to keep readers guessing.

The ensuing murder investigation threatens to derail the women’s friendship — and possibly their futures. One of the four women becomes a person of interest and goes missing. And one of them knows much more than she’s sharing.

Over the next two decades, the case remains unsolved, and three of the women enjoy success in their respective careers. But one woman is still missing, and one remains haunted by the chaos of that ill-fated night. With an upcoming reunion on the horizon, and the arrival of a stranger on a motorcycle bringing even more turmoil, the time seems right to finally revisit the past, uncover the secrets and expose the truth. There’s one major catch: there are those who wish the case to remain unsolved. Finding answers and the closure the four women so desperately need will require good acting, deception and maybe a little divine intervention.

About the Author
Death by Chaos author Renaii West is a playwright and dramatic arts educator. After earning her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Pacific Lutheran University and a Master of Arts in Communication from the United States International University, she became the dramatic arts instructor in a performing arts junior high magnet program, where she wrote and directed many of her own productions. She was also a belly-dancer for 10 years.

She wrote and produced a short film, “Eli’s Run,” which was accepted into the Oceanside Film Festival ( Her passions include Greek mythology, classic films, folk and ballroom dancing, jigsaw puzzles, and of course, mysteries. West has traveled across the world, including to England, Greece, Jordan, Mexico, Israel, Poland, Russia, France, Morocco, Latvia and Estonia. She resides in San Diego, California.

For more information, please visit, or connect with the author on Twitter (@RenaiiW) or Facebook (

Death by Chaos
ISBN-13: 979-8692019400
Available at



Book Image Not Available
by Dorothy Conigliaro

Ms. Conigliaro explains, “I come from an Italian-American family; more specifically, from a Sicilian-American family. During times of such hardship as the pandemic we are now living through, one is prompted to look back on better days, or at least days that had more meaning to them. Now we rarely see our old friends and neighbors but it prompts me to revisit them, knowing that there was a better time, and hoping that we can enjoy the normality of the lives we lived before.”

About The Author
Dorothy Conigliaro is a published author and freelance writer who has worked in educational advancement and, for many years, as magazine editor for a prestigious private school in Riverdale. In her checkered career, she has taught school at a Yeshiva, at a Catholic school in Riverdale, and in the Ardsley Public Schools.

available from

5 Stars
~ ~ Review by THOURIA

I enjoyed reading this book! This is the heartwarming story of an immigrant, going through the cycle of life, with different milestones that marked her journey. All of this in a New York backdrop, with beautiful period stamps, in pictures. Being an immigrant, it brought back memories of the enriching difficulties that come with starting your life from scratch.

Book Promo: The Binge Watcher’s Guide to The Black Mirror

Riverdale Avenue Books Publishes
“The Binge Watcher’s Guide to The Black Mirror”

Riverdale Avenue Books has published the fourth book in its binge watcher’s series focusing on the British science fiction anthology Black Mirror, which is regarded by many as the modern iteration of The Twilight Zone. Charlie Brooker is often seen as the Rod Sterling of his generation, as he has written all 22 of the shows’ episodes so far. The acclaimed British sci-fi anthology series focusing on the dark side of technology premiered in 2011 and has won eight Emmy Awards.

Pop culture and tech writer Marc W. Polite focuses The Binge Watcher’s Guide to The Black Mirror on the parallels drawn between what is in the show, and how our modern society is not too far off from what is depicted in the anthology series.  The reader will encounter a thoughtful recap and analysis of each episode from all five seasons, as well as the interactive Black Mirror movie-Bandersnatch. Embracing the meaning and the mayhem of this moment, The Binge Watcher’s Guide to Black Mirror is a spirited, fan-centered companion of the show.

“Having the opportunity to write this book meant a lot to me, to delve into the various themes of my favorite currently running show,” explained author Polite. “As a big fan of science fiction, I gravitated towards the themes explored by this anthology around technology, inspired by the episodes that touch on more than one topic. I have watched each episode way more than 2 or 3 times. However, when compelled to take a more critical eye in rewatching the series to write about it, I had the chance to really dig in deep. There were some moments where it felt as though I were doing a course on film criticism. In spite of the serious-sounding nature of what I just said, I had a lot of fun writing this book and I hope fans will feel the same.”

The next book in the series is The Binge Watcher’s Guide to Riverdale which pubs on April 1st, the first appearance of Veronica Lodge (1942), followed by The Binge Watcher’s Guide to The Twilight Zone, which is publishing on May 11th, National Twilight Zone Day.

Books and downloads are available on
Barnes & Nobles Nook,
Riverdale Avenue Books,
and Kobo.

About Marc. W. Polite
Born and raised in Harlem, New York, Marc W. Polite is a poet and essayist. He writes about social justice, labor issues, film, technology, and literature. His reviews and striking commentary appear in Poets & Writers, Black Star News, Madame Noire, The Amsterdam News, The Grio, TIME Magazine, The Atlanta Post, New England Informer, and Harlem’s own Harlem News Group and Harlem World Magazine. Mr. Polite is also the founder and editor-in-chief of the social and political commentary blog site, Polite On Society, recognized by the New York Association of Black Journalists [NYABJ] for “Best Blog Commentary” of 2014.

About Riverdale Avenue Books
Riverdale Avenue Books is an award winning, innovative hybrid publisher at the leading edge of the changes in the publishing industry.  We publish e-books and print titles under 13 imprints: Desire, an erotica/erotic romance imprint; Riverdale/Magnus the award-winning imprint of LGBT titles; Pop featuring pop culture titles; Afraid, a horror line; SFF, a science fiction fantasy line; Truth, an erotic memoir line; Dagger, a mystery thriller imprint; Sports and Gaming featuring sports and gaming titles; Verve featuring lifestyle titles; Hera featuring both the true and fictional lives and loves of women aged 35 and up; 120 Days an LGBT pulp fiction line and Circlet, an erotica/erotic romance imprint. Started in 2012 by industry veteran Lori Perkins, Riverdale is a full service publisher, with a subsidiary rights department.  Visit us at

Book Promo: Wiggles, Stomps, and Squeezes Calm My Jitters Down

Coinciding with Autism Awareness Month,
New Kids Book Helps Us Navigate Differences in Our 8 Senses

Published to coincide with Autism Awareness Month, and armed with a lot of confidence and inspiration, neurodiverse author Lindsey Rowe Parker releases her first children’s book, Wiggles, Stomps, and Squeezes Calm My Jitters Down (April 1, 2021; BQB Publishing; ISBN 978-1945448; $14.95; Hardcover), with autistic illustrator Rebecca Burgess, whom Lindsey met on Twitter. The book is also available in Spanish, titled Meneos, Pistones, Y Apretones Para Calmar Mi Cosquilleo. When Lindsey became newly diagnosed with PTSD, anxiety and ADHD, her world finally made sense—giving her the confidence as a parent to go through a medical journey with her daughter, who is autistic. This story is written from Lindsey’s own sensory experiences and inspires parents who are looking for that sensory input, which they themselves may not have a name for.

The theme of Wiggles… is that the child is accepted and understood. They are not asked to change; they are supported; they can be themselves; and most importantly, they are loved.  Wiggles… focuses on the eight senses: smell, sight, hearing, taste, touch, PLUS proprioception, vestibular and interoception.

The brightly illustrated story follows a young girl with heightened sensory experiences through her day with fun, interactive sounds and motions. The reader may vicariously experience the vibration when she runs, the tap-tap-tap of her spoon on the table at mealtime, the trickle of cool water running over her hands—these are the things that calm her jitters down. 

Lindsey recounts, “There were sensory preferences that I had as a child that I thought were weird or strange, not like other kids I knew. Through pediatric occupational therapies with my kiddos, I have a greater understanding of not only some of their sensory needs, but my own. It’s like a lightbulb went on, and I thought, “Oh wow, now I get it.”  On working with Rebecca to illustrate the book, “Rebecca was absolutely the perfect person to bring this story to life because she understood life’s experiences as an autistic person. You can feel the support and understanding in the illustrations.”

Author Lindsey Rowe Parker is a mom at the tail end of toddlerhood, embracing the next phase of parenting while learning to navigate and advocate for her young autistic daughter. With a recent adult diagnosis of ADHD, and a new deeper understanding of her own sensory experiences, she has begun to delve into the neurodiversity community, learning all she can from neurodiverse voices. This is her first picture book, and she hopes it connects with everyone who has felt the need for a wiggle, stomp or squeeze! Lindsey lives in the Richmond, VA, area with her family. Rebecca “Bex” Burgess is an autistic illustrator living in the UK. They love history and nature, but comics and illustration most of all! Their passion has led them to work with the likes of The Guardian and Jessica Kingsley Publishing. Rebecca is most famous for their online comic, Understanding the Spectrum, explaining autism that has been shared in several books and used by parents, teachers and doctors. For more information, please visit

From the Author

There were sensory preferences that I had as a child that are considered “weird” or “strange”. Through pediatric occupational therapies with my kiddos, I have a greater understanding of not only some of their sensory needs, but my own. It is like a light bulb went on, and I thought “Oh wow, now I get it.”

I wrote this story from my own sensory experiences, and now also as a mother learning how to provide sensory input to meet the needs of my kids. But I think this story applies to many kids and adults that are looking for that sensory input, which they themselves may not have a name for.

I knew that I wanted to partner with an illustrator that understood these experiences, and I found Rebecca Burgess on Twitter. The kidlit community on twitter is a great place to find talent, and Rebecca is a gem.  From their first concept sketches I knew they were absolutely the perfect person to bring this story to life.”

About the Illustrator: Rebecca Burgess

Rebecca is an autistic illustrator living in the UK. They love history and nature, but comics and illustration most of all! Their passion has led them to work with the likes of The Guardian and Jessica Kingsley Publishing. Rebecca is most famous for their online comic ‘Understanding The Spectrum’, a comic explaining autism that has been shared in several books and used by parents, teachers and doctors.

Wiggles, Stomps and Squeezes Calm My Jitters Down
Publisher:  BQB Publishing
ISBN-10: 194544892X
ISBN-13: 978-1945448928
Reading age5 – 7 years

Available from

Divas on the Bima – Virtual Concert!

The 2021 Concert, at 7:00 PM on April 25, is Neve Shalom’s 30th Anniversary spectacular
and will be a virtual event featuring the acclaimed vocal ensemble “Divas on the Bima.”

to download a .pdf of this flyer click HERE

For over 70 years, Neve Shalom has been a dynamic Jewish center offering religious services,
shared life cycle events, diverse programming, and education for congregants from toddlers to seniors.

Passport To Israel Program

The Passport to Israel program (aka the Susy Schwartz Memorial Scholarship Fund) is primarily sustained by
an annual concert open to all, generally in the spring, that brings first rate Jewish entertainment to Neve Shalom.
An impressive roster of performers has graced the Neve Shalom stage since the first Susy Schwartz Concert in 1991.

Logo for Neve Shalom
250 Grove Avenue
Metuchen, NJ  08840