Book Review: Pianissimo by Lauren Shiro

Pianissimo

Pianissimo by Lauren Shiro

 by Lauren Shiro

Darryl and Corinne Richards purchase their first house. With Darryl’s army career coming to a close, they feel ready to settle down in Louisville, Kentucky. With impeccable timing, Darryl is sent on one final tour, leaving Corinne to live in this new house and new city alone.

Overwhelmed, Corinne becomes reclusive, living a quiet, boring life with her cats as she adjusts to her new surroundings. The problem is: someone or some thing does not want her life to be either quiet or boring. And then there’s the creepy piano in the basement…

There is more to that creepy, dilapidated piano and her new home than Corinne could ever imagine. Through highs and lows, twists and turns, she begins to understand that even the most softly played music is powerful – and that even soft realizations and quietly subtle changes can have a profound effect.

Pianissimo di Lauren Shiro ora disponibili in edizioni italiane!
(Italian Edition)

translated by Alessia Simoni

translated by Alessia Simoni

5 stars

 Imagine a piano, once beautiful now old, that holds a secret to change a young woman’s life.

reviewed by Don Thorkelson

A fascinating concept revealed through letters and an ancient much abused piano. A young couple buys an old house . The man goes off to his last tour in a war zone and left alone, the wife discovers more than she expected when she enters the basement.
Secrets, an exquisite love story from another era are revealed as the young woman struggles to remove paint from the piano where beneath the ugly green lies mahogany. Pianissimo is a story of growth, understanding and love to capture the readers heart.

 

About the Author:

Lauren Shiro was published nationally for the first time at age fourteen. Since then, her work has been published in newspapers, magazines, literary journals, and even textbooks.

In 2006, she began writing fiction and she hasn’t stopped yet. From her set of intertwined short stories in Loving Her, to the powerhouse duo of Imperfect and Impeccable, Lauren has written stories that are sure to touch your heart. Lauren continues to write stories of love without boundaries.

She resides in Rochester, New York with her wife and their menagerie of furry and feathered friends.

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Why Did She Jump? by Joan Childs

Turning Personal Tragedy Into Inspiration For
Others To Learn How To Find Healing And Peace

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently reported the incidence of suicide is up by 24% since 1999.

A mother of five and grandmother to nine, married and divorced four times, and a clinical social worker in private practice for nearly forty years, Joan Childs thought she had experienced or seen it all. But nothing could have prepared her for the death of her beautiful daughter, Pam.  A brilliant psychotherapist, Pam battled constantly with Bipolar Disorder until one fateful summer day in 1998 when her demons overwhelmed her, she plunged to her death from a 15th floor balcony. Even with their combined credentials and medical knowledge, Pam still could not be saved. She became the driving force behind Joan Childs’ latest book, Why Did She Jump? (HCI Books), and brings hope to anyone struggling with grief from the loss of a child or loved one to mental illness, that there is hope for better tomorrows.

Fierce and tender, Joan’s compelling storytelling gives us an insightful yet sensitive look at her daughter’s life dealing with Bipolar Disorder. Peeling back the layers of pain and despair, Joan takes readers through the dark days of grief and guilt she felt both as a mother and as a frustrated professional who doesn’t understand why more hasn’t been done about this disease. With brutal honesty, Joan recalls how the lives of her entire family became entwined with her daughter’s illness as they watched her sink deeper into a place where no one could reach her. It is a powerful story of courage, hope, acceptance, and finally, forgiveness. Now, Joan reflects on her daughter’s many accomplishments, in spite of her illness, and sees them as Pam’s legacy to the world.

In an earlier book, The Myth of the Maiden: On Being a Woman, the author looks at the evolution of women from helpless maidens to dragon-slayers. Both books are excellent resources for personal growth and development after life changes and loss. In spite of many personal losses, Joan ‘walks the talk;’ she lives life to its fullest and maintains a level of energy and passion at age 76 that would put a 40-year-old to shame! A strikingly beautiful woman and energetic and inspiring speaker, Joan ignites the passion in others to find their own path to courage, healing and hope after the heartbreak and struggle of losing a loved one/child to suicide or any other cause of death.

Joan’s television series, Solutions, was dedicated to the memory of her daughter Pamela, and offered information and resources for anyone suffering from mental and mood disorders.  She provides lectures, workshops and seminars dedicated to her profession of mental health and women’s issues and is a spokesperson for bipolar disorder and suicide.

About the Author:

Joan E. Childs, LCSW, has been in private practice since 1978. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker specializing in couples therapy, known as Encounter-Centered Couples Therapy. An expert in Codependency, Inner Child Work, Original Pain Work, and Second Stage Recovery, she is certified in many modalities including a master practitioner in NLP, (neuro-linguistic programming), a master practitioner in EMDR, (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing), Supervision, Hypnosis, PAIRS, (Practical Applications for Intimate Relationship Skills), and is a Certified Grief Counselor. She was the first affiliate of the John Bradshaw Center in the United States and has made appearances on national TV shows including The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Mark Wahlberg Show, Maury Povich, The Montel Williams Show, and many more.

For more information on this remarkable woman and her work, please visit the website:  www.joanechilds.com.

Available at all online outlets and Amazon
Why Did She Jump?
My Daughter’s Battle with Bipolar Disorder

By Joan E. Childs, LCSW
Publisher: HCI Books
ISBN-13: 978-07573-1697-5 (Paperback)
ISBN-10: 07573-1697-2 (Paperback)
ISBN-13: 978-07573-1698-2 (ePub)
ISBN-10: 07573-1698-0 (ePub)

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Excerpts from five-star reviews on Amazon.com:

“… I lost my 23 year old daughter Kaitlyn to suicide… she was just starting her 3rd year of medical school… I have come to know (Joan’s) daughter through her eyes and memories and she was a beautiful person and was so loved. Her book has truly touched my heart.”

“… A true story of how Pamela, a young, beautiful psychotherapist, lived with a chronic debilitating mental illness and how her family got caught up in the whirlwind. It is also a story of how the mental health system continually failed her in not being able to provide her with any kind of useful assistance… This is a book for anyone who is contemplating a career in the health care field to make them aware of the challenges ahead.”

“This book should be read by anyone who’s lost a loved one due to mental illness and/or suicide. As a mother, I can’t imagine the pain Joan must have felt after losing her beautiful daughter. Her strength is inspiring.”

“Readers will learn more about Bipolar I Disorder, which thankfully, not every family has to deal with, but also about the grieving process, which we do all deal with. Despite being a heart-breaking story about illness, death and grief, Joan skillfully leaves you feeling better and actually hopeful at the end.”

Book Promo: Men Chase, Women Choose by Dawn Maslar, MS

At The Intersection Of Science And Love:
Men Chase, Women Choose

Men Chase, Women Choose is warm and witty with a perfect balance of science and insight. You’ll find yourself wondering why a book of this magnitude didn’t come out sooner. But like everything else in life, all in due time.” – Gabe Berman, author of Live Like a Fruit Fly

“Understanding the anthropological principles that underlie our responses to love does not lessen its beauty and enigmatic wonder, but allows us to clearly view love as a biological responsibility.”- Lisa McCourt, author of Juicy Joy: 7 Simple Steps to Your Glorious, Gutsy Self

A question that seems as old as time comes closer to a definitive answer than ever before ― What is love? In Men Chase, Women Choose, Dawn Maslar, MS, provides engaging insights into one of life’s most elusive and misunderstood topics by offering science-based research to help anyone discover and sustain love. Maslar’s relatable and easy-to-read book uses the most relevant neurological, physiological, and biochemical studies on the science of love, while incorporating stories and examples based on participants of her popular classes and seminars.

For the past decade, the “love biologist” has been using her cutting-edge research to describe how the brain works when two people first meet, start to date, fall in love, and then move on to a more passionate, lifelong love. Even simpler, she breaks down her love science into four precisely timed phases:

1.    Attraction
2.    Dating
3.    Falling in love
4.    Real love

During these phases, Maslar explains that “love” is actually neural activity as well as the presence or absence of certain neurotransmitters. Most people associate love with the euphoric feeling during which anxiety is low or nonexistent among these brain signals. However, Maslar demonstrates that levels of anxiety and other feelings can fluctuate throughout love’s path. “Love isn’t just one thing that you luckily fall into,” says Maslar. “Finding and maintaining lifelong love is a process … Because the stages are different, you can feel different emotions during each phase.”

Maslar reasons that once we understand how love works, we can make educated decisions. Men Chase, Women Choose helps readers in this boundless endeavor by addressing all those time-honored questions like:

•    Does love at first sight really exist?
•    Who should make the first move?
•    What happens to your brain when you fall in love?
•    Why won’t he commit?
•    Why does love make us crazy?
•    What can you do to have love that lasts a lifetime?

Readers can expect answers involving how love is a biological need, the “natural laws” of love, purposes of the brain’s anatomy, and how testosterone and other biochemical differences between men and women affect how we love. Maslar states, “When you understand the science of love, it will help you easily and effortlessly find nourishing and passionate, long-lasting love.”

More praise for Men Chase, Women Choose…

“Whether in between relationships or currently in one, readers will find valuable insight on how men and women interact with each other and what dynamics long-term relationships need to work. Maslar mixes scientific concepts, often with humor, making it a light and enjoyable read. – Theresa Braun, author of Groom and Doom: A Greek Love Story and dating blogger.

“Finally, a book that doesn’t treat finding true love like a Nora Ephron movie! Biology, nature, evolution … they all play a role in helping us find that special someone. Or in keeping them from us forever. – Eric Rogell, author of The Art of War for Dating

About the Author:

Dawn Maslar, MS, (Davie, FL) award-winning author, adjunct biology professor and the go-to authority on the science of love. She was voted one of the Top 20 Most Followed Dating Experts on Twitter and Best 28 Dating, Marriage and Relationship Blogs in the UK to follow in 2015. She is a contributing author at scienceofrelationship.com, a collection of leading experts in the field of scientific relationship research. She is a TEDx speaker on How Your Brain Falls in Love and worked with the TED Education division to create their Science of Attraction video. Her work has been featured on South Florida Today, Pittsburgh Tribune and NPR. Her online videos have had over 2 million views. In addition to the book, she has created The Great Love Experiment; a show where audience members learn about the science of love by participating in research reenactments on stage. It’s a fun and often hilarious event that she does at colleges, comedy clubs and singles events. See excerpts of the show here: https://vimeo.com/168358958

Men Chase, Women Choose: The Neuroscience of Meeting, Dating, Losing Your Mind and Finding True Love
By Dawn Maslar, MS
Available directly from the publisher at www.hcibooks.com or 800-441-5569
and at Amazon, Barnes&Noble, and other fine retailers.
ISBN: 9780757319259

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Like a Black Friday Special! #FREE e-Book

’Tis the Season for Cocoa and Reading

Holiday Stories and More

by

Tamara Philip, Chelle Cordero, Malcolm R. Campbell,
Gwendolyn Jensen-Woodard, Neva Squires-Rodriguez,
Charmaine Gordon, and Lauren Shiro.

tistheseason2016 

That Christmas Feeling

Tamara Philip

***

A Date With Mistletoe

Chelle Cordero

***

Jock Stewart’s Holiday Hilarity

Malcolm R. Campbell

***

Dead for a Night

Gwendolyn Jensen-Woodard

***

Esperanza-The Holiday that Wasn’t

Neva Squires-Rodriguez

***

Surprise in August

Charmaine Gordon

***

The Gift

Lauren Shiro

~~~~~

Get this book #FREE from

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for more from Vanilla Heart Publishing

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Vanilla Heart Publishing web-site
https://www.vanillaheartpublishing.com/

Epic Story of Donald D. Blackburn

The Epic Story of Donald D. Blackburn

Shadow Commander: Remembering The Covert Commander Responsible For The Largest POW Rescue Mission In History

 

In Shadow Commander: The Epic Story of Donald D. Blackburn (Casemate Publishers), author Mike Guardia presents his readers with a memorable story of an underdog whose career was a testament to dogged determination and the will to stay alive.

On the evening of April 9, 1942, the fires on Bataan burned with a primitive fury, illuminating white flags of surrender against the dark sky. Outnumbered and outgunned, remnants of the American-Philippine army surrendered to the forces of the Rising Sun. Yet US Army Captain Donald D. Blackburn refused to lay down his arms. With future Special Forces legend Russell Volckmann, Blackburn escaped to the jungles of North Luzon, raising a private army of 22,000 men against the Japanese. His organization of native tribes into guerrilla fighters would lead to the destruction of the enemy’s naval base at Aparri.

But Blackburn’s remarkable accomplishments didn’t end with the victory in the Pacific. He played a key role in initiating Army Special Forces operations in Southeast Asia, became commander of the 77th Special Forces Group and later took command of the highly classified Studies and Observations Group (SOG), charged with performing secret missions. Blackburn also revitalized the Special Operations campaign in South Vietnam, conducting full-scale operations against the NVA and Viet Cong in Laos and Cambodia. Following his return to the US, Blackburn was the architect of the infamous Son Tay Prison Raid, the largest prisoner-of-war rescue mission—and, indeed, the largest Army Special Forces operation—of the Vietnam War.

During a period when US troops in Southeast Asia faced guerrilla armies on every side, America had a superb covert commander of its own. This book follows Blackburn through both his youthful days of desperate combat and his time as a commander, imparting his lessons to the new ranks of Army Special Forces.

An internationally-recognized author and military historian, Mike Guardia is also a veteran of the United States Army. He served six years on active duty as an Armor Officer. He is the author of the widely-acclaimed Hal Moore: A Soldier Once…and Always, the first-ever biography chronicling the life of Lieutenant General Harold G. Moore, whose leadership was popularized in the film We Were Soldiers starring Mel Gibson.  As a lecturer, Mike Guardia has given presentations at the US Special Operations Command and the George Bush (41) Presidential Library.  He holds a BA and MA in American History from the University of Houston and currently resides in Texas.

For more information, please visit:  https://www.amazon.com/Shadow-Commander-Donald-Blackburn-Guerrilla-Special-ebook/dp/B0169GGSFY/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Shadow Commander: The Epic Story of Donald D. Blackburn
Casemate Publishers
Available online at Amazon and at all fine book sellers
ISBN-13: 978-1612000657

World War II Magazine: “A follow-up to a fine bio of Russell Volckmann, this tale of guerrilla warfare spans from Bataan to Vietnam.”

Book News: “Donald D. Blackburn’s involvement in guerilla warfare against the Japanese in WWII qualified him to become one of the first commanders of the Special Forces. For this career biography, the author conducted personal interviews with Blackburn and his family in 2008, with access to all of Blackburn’s personal papers, documents, photos, and his war diary from 1941-1944.”

Miniature Wargames UK: “…very well researched and readable account of one man’s fascinating military career, which was rarely spent far from where the action was.”

Military Writer’s Society Of America: “An excellent biography of one of the Army’s lesser known but very important leaders. Blackburn’s activities in World War II alone would make him a hero, but the author goes on to cite in some detail Blackburn’s other contributions in Viet Nam as well as to the evolution of Army Special Forces. The author’s detailed accounts of Blackburn’s activities make this book a must read for anyone interested in military history, World War II, and particularly for anyone studying or who simply enjoys reading about guerilla warfare or Army Special Forces.”

Book Promo: Dark Associations by Marie Sutro

Get Ready For A Sleepless Night Or Two: The Deadly Game Within Dark Associations

Dark Associations by Marie Sutro (Viper Press) is a compelling new work of crime fiction pulling readers into a chilling battle of wits between a sinister, twisted mind and a determined young detective.

Following the discovery of her protégé’s mutilated corpse, SFPD Detective Kate Barnes vows to capture an infamous serial killer known as the Tower Torturer. After years of silence, the psychopath has emerged from the shadows.

Young women close to Kate begin to disappear, as the killer taunts the detective, torturing his victims in various and unspeakable ways before displaying their corpses in macabre public tableaus. The predator always seems to be two moves ahead of the rookie investigator, despite her best efforts. As the body count rises, Kate struggles to apprehend the brutal mastermind before he resurrects history’s most insidious form of torture upon her.

Marie Sutro is a native of the San Francisco Bay Area and a member of Sisters in Crime. A proponent of adult literacy, she volunteers with California Library Literacy Services, helping adults improve their reading and writing skills. Her great-grandfather, grandfather and father all served in the San Francisco Police Department, the collective inspiration for her debut novel. She resides in Northern California and is currently at work on the next Kate Barnes story.

For more information please visit http://www.mariesutro.com

Dark Associations
By Marie Sutro
Viper Press
Available January 10, 2017
ISBN: 978-1943957033

available for pre-order from Amazon

Steve Alten, New York Times Best-Selling Author of Meg and Domain: “Marie Sutro’s debut novel, Dark Associations, may just be this generation’s Silence of the Lambs. Erotic and frightening, it keeps the reader guessing until the last pages.”

 

Book Review: Human Origins and The Bible

Human Origins And The Bible: Combining Current Science And Scripture To Avoid “Creation Wars”

by Myron G Heavin

It’s no secret that conflicting models exist to explain creation and the universe. Young earth creationists, old earth creationists, theistic evolutionists, and evolving creationists all differ from evolutionists. Author and aerospace engineer, Myron Heavin, compares the strengths and weaknesses of the various models and shares his conclusions in his new release: Human Origins and the Bible published by Redemption Press, August 2016.

While studying for his master’s degree in theology, Myron Heavin was struck by textbooks that failed to ground their viewpoints on creation in Scripture. Heavin takes a scientific approach to the study of human origins, saying, “Science simply cannot conflict with nature, as our creator God wrote the Bible. We use nature to help us understand Scripture.” He says God wrote the two separate books of science and Scripture, and “we must read them both.”

The book is of special interest to those struggling with how to resolve a literal reading of Genesis with the latest findings of science. Heavin also discusses whether God created by guiding evolution, the fossil hominid record, Neanderthals, DNA research, whether Darwin’s slow evolution is dead, and other subjects relevant to creation studies.

With careful scholarship he resolves the conflict of Adam and Eve living 8,000 years ago and humans migrating out of Africa 50,000-plus years ago. He says, “Adam and Eve, as the first humans to recognize sin, lived just a few thousand years ago. Due to their new knowledge of right from wrong, a few generations later we have cities, farming, metalworking, etc. It took a cultural change, religion, for all these things to happen.”

This up-to-date treatment of the current science is also designed for use as a Bible study for individuals and groups, and is a valuable contribution to the discussion of human origins.

Human Origins and the Bible: A Bold New Theory Relating Genesis Human Origins to Science
by Myron Heavin
Redemption Press, August 2016
Available at Amazon
ISBN: 978-1683140078

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Amazon Review

An engineer’s view of the Bible  reviewed by Thomas Law 
It is fascinating to read the Bible through the eyes of a scientist, particularly an engineer. I have discovered that engineers are precise and like for things to line up “just right”. As I read through the pages of this book, I could see the “wheels spinning” in the engineering mind trying to “make sense” of it all.

As scientist and particularly as an engineer, the author has a peculiar perspective on Scripture, the origin of humans, and science in general. This allows him to see things others might have missed and read the Bible with “new eyes”. These insights can help the rest of us gain new understanding of Scripture and science. I am sure that the author’s take on Scripture and science probably will perturbed many. But hopefully they will stay with him and hear his heart.

The author is concerned that those who hold a high regard for Scripture are turning off the younger generation and especially those raised in the scientific community. Although he admires those who have tried in the past to bridge the gap between science and Scripture he sees them as caving into one or the other camp and losing their audience. He feels that something is missing.

Although the author’s stated goal is to create a “bold new theory relating Genesis human origins to science”, it would seem his real passion is building a bridge between those who hold different views on the subject. The author seems to want to use his book to show those with different perspectives that there is common ground. You can both hold a high regard for Scripture and for science without either getting in the way of the other.

Unfortunately, some of the charts and explanations are lost on a more general audience. Additional clarity is needed on some of the issues, but overall he presents his arguments well.