Tag Archives: nonfiction

Guest Post Did I Ever Thank You, Sister?

Guest Post

I started a little exercise about twenty years ago that has really changed my perspective on life, especially when I get uptight about things.

When I was young and in the orphanage back in the 1960’s, and for many years afterwards, I would literally wake up afraid every day. I guess it was because my childhood before I got to the orphanage at 8 was so disjointed and unpredictable, such as to always wonder if were we even going to eat that day, or was my father going to beat my mother, etc., I just learned not to trust or feel secure.

But, as an adult, I was given great advice to look for the good in life and in my past and hang on to that. That is how I discovered gratitude. Today, when I feel afraid or insecure,  I look back on the previous day and I do an inventory looking for the good that happened and I find myself smiling and feeling grateful about just how great life is and how “An average day, is a great day”.

I then realize how fortunate I am that my life has turned out so good. But, it was a lot of kindness from many people who helped me along the way that helped me get to where I am today.

 Just cooking for my lovely wife of 36 years is a great thought. She loves my cooking and I love to cook for her. It is the little things that matter.

About the Book

Title: Did I Ever Thank You Sister?

Author: Sal Di Leo

Genre: Nonfiction

Sal Di Leo returns after 30 years to the Catholic orphanage outside Chicago that he and his siblings called home in 1963. This is the beginning of a journey of discovery and remembrance as Sal is forced to reconstruct his life as it really happened, including some of his most difficult years at Boys Town in Nebraska. As an adult, Sal tried to rise above his turbulent past in an aggressive quest for power and money. Successes soon led to failures. Eventually, a wise friend convinces Sal to go back to his roots and look for the good experiences and valuable lessons he learned as a nine-year-old orphan.

 

Author Bio

Sal Di Leo is the Author of Did I Ever Thank You, Sister?, a Speaker, and an Entrepreneur.

Sal has successfully tackled many challenges in business and in life, and volunteers much of his time serving those in need. With his family, he founded St. Francis Lodge, a free retreat center where nuns, priests and others can reflect and rest to enhance their lives and work.

The State Fish Art contest, which he started in Minnesota to help kids learn about conservation through art, is now offered in all 50 states and 12 countries. Sal has been actively involved with Rotary and the Lions Club, and he has spoken to service clubs around the United States about his life and the importance of gratitude.

His memoir, Did I Ever Thank You, Sister?, rooted in his childhood experiences in a Catholic orphanage, is available worldwide.

He is the proud father of two adult daughters and has been married to his lovely wife Beth for 36 years. A longtime resident of Minneapolis, he is a 1977 graduate of the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

Visit Sal on his website http://www.SalDiLeo.com

 

Links

Goodreads

Amazon

Website: http://www.saldileo.com/

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Guest Post Your Crossroads. Your Choice.

Guest Post

I am going to choose a topic to talk about and that topic is fear.

As enlightened mammals we are both blessed and cursed with the ability to experience fear. Even the most primitive beings have the fear response, it is what keeps them out of harm’s way.  We are the only ones who have the nightmarish ability to manifest fear in our own minds, a place we can never escape from.

Or can we? Who’s to say that we can not simply and politely push that unnecessary fear into a deep, dark closet and lock the door. Then throw away the key. Having some level of fear is essential to sustaining your life. It’s what keeps you thinking twice about base jumping, driving with your eyes closed or playing outside with a metal rod in a lighting storm. It is the other fear, the stuff we manage to conjure up out of our very own worst nightmares. Why do we do it? Guess what – the answer might surprise you. More fear. That’s right folks – we fear success as much if not more than failure.

Why? Why does being successful create such a feeling of fear? It is for the same reason we fear failure – it is an unknown. If we live in a constant, a cyclical, routine existence then we will always know (for the most part) what to expect. Once we begin to step out of our comfort zone, we lose the ability to predict our future and therefore lose the (false) sense of control we thought we had over our mediocre routines.

When I started writing this book, I felt fear about admitting my true feelings. When it was accepted at Page Publishing, I felt fear that I was making a huge mistake, that I was some kind of fraud unworthy of having my work out in the universe. And when the book went public I felt fear. Fear that everyone was now going to have access to my innermost thoughts along this broken, staggered journey I am on.

Through the writing of Your crossroads. Your choice. I began to recognize this false fear. I began to kick it in the nuts so to speak and send it packing. I have felt the weight lift from my shoulders as I accepted my passion, embraced my journey and turned it into a witty, creative outlook on an otherwise commonplace journey. You see, my new friends, the things that happen to us in life are not what define us. Rather, it is the choices we make that make us who we are. I chose to feel success rather than fear. What will you choose?

 

About the Book

Title: Your crossroads. Your choice.

Author: EJ Apicello

Genre: Self-help

Welcome to my diary, my journey, as I tripped and crawled through the darkest time in my life- when I witnessed  people that I held incredibly close to me shatter my very existence with their words and actions. The things within this book spine are extremely raw and exceptionally real. You and I are going to get very close, the details in this book, although oddly general, are incredibly specific. Yes, I realize what I just said and as you read my words you will see what I mean. As you silently gasp and mentally bitch slap me, please be kind because my story is just that – my story. It is not any more or less special than yours. In fact the only difference between our stories are the choices we made at each of the crossroads in our lives. For most of my life the choices I made were not based on my happiness but on everyone else’s. This book describes what I have experienced in my journey to finding my happiness and hopefully never letting it go. Sadly, it took me thirty six years to find the strength I need to detoxify my life and self view and find someone who is worthy of my awesomeness. Thirty six years to shatter the negative foundation I had built shatter the ultimate representative I created to hide behind and begin the process of building a new foundation. Only this foundation will be built on strength, confidence and above all, happiness. So take a minute or thirty and sit with my story for a while. You never know what you might find out.

 

Author Bio

Welcome to my real, crazy, emotional, probably too honest journey. I am an everyday girl in this everyday world trying to keep my head above water and within the pages of this book you will learn about the things that have broken me down  and the steps I am taking to build back up. You will see, my new friends, that this story is written in a unique, general, conversational voice, which was my choice. I want you to be able to picture yourself in my shoes, relate my trials and tribulations to yours and see that you too can find your happiness. Even if you don’t realize this yet, every single one of us possesses things inside of ourselves that we didn’t know were there. It took my life taking a crazy right turn and dumping me at the lowest possible point before I could see the strength within myself. We are not defined by what we do, we are defined by the choices we make. I decided when I put pen to paper that I want my choices to start defining me as strong, confident, secure and above all else, happy. So, who am I? How about I tell you who I was – a self loathing shell of myself who put everyone else’s happiness before my own. Herein lies my story to find that happiness and all of the ups and downs along the way. See who I was and who I am trying to become and maybe, somewhere in there, you will find out a little about yourself too.

 

Links

www.ejapicello.com

@ejapicello

facebook.com/ejapicello

Amazon

B&N

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Author Interview The Hooligans of Kandahar

Have you been writing for a long time?

I’ve probably been writing since I in 6th grade. Short little stories about nothing, mostly because I was busy not paying attention in class.

 

What inspired you to start a writing career?

I wish I had a good answer to that. I always wanted to be a writer, but to me it sounded like a pipe dream. It reminds me of that scene in Step Brothers when the Dad is told “Stop being a dinosaur and get a job!” Because of how dumb it sounded that someone would actually pay me real currency that they worked for to read what my stupid fingers typed on a laptop.

Is this book a stand-alone, or are you planning a sequel?

Due to the subject of my book and the fact I am no longer a Soldier, a sequel seems unlikely.

What was the most challenging part about writing down your story?

Doing the story, and my fellow soldiers justice all while staying painfully honest with the subject matter. It didnt make a lot of people happy when they read accounts of their actions several years later.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Go for it. A lot of people are going to tell you you’re stupid for wanting to try to make a living doing this. But the guy from Stepbrothers is right: don’t let them steal your dinosaur.

 

About the Book

Title: The Hooligans of Kandahar

Author: Joseph Kassabian

Genre: Nonfiction / War Memoir

During the peak years of the Afghanistan War, a group of soldiers is dropped by helicopter into the remote mountains outside of Kandahar City. Mismanaged and overlooked by command, how they survive is largely up to them. In the birthplace of the Taliban, some men lose their sanity, others their humanity. They are The Hooligans.

Written in the months and years following his deployment, Joseph Kassabian recounts his time in the isolated and dangerous country of Afghanistan. Pulling no punches, The Hooligans of Kandahar is a sobering, saddening, and often sarcastic first-hand account of America’s War on Terror.

 

Links

Amazon (eBook)

Amazon (Paperback)

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Promo Post Cubicle to Cuba: Desk Job to Dream Job

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About the Book

cubicletocubacoverhighresTitle: Cubicle to Cuba: Desk Job to Dream Job

Author: Heidi Siefkas

Genre: Travelogue

In this introspective travelogue, author, speaker and adventurer Heidi Siefkas shares her transition out of the corporate world’s Cubicle Land to life on the road in Cuba and beyond. Heidi highlights another side of Cuba as well as perspective gained from years of travel to the once-forbidden island. Along the way, she seizes opportunities for adventure in Kauai, Italy, Peru, New Zealand, Australia, and other far-flung places, but always returning to Cuba for more.

Not unlike her previous books When All Balls Drop and With New Eyes, Heidi tells this story with a good dose of sass and humor in her signature down-to-earth vignettes.

Cubicle to Cuba will teach you about Cuba, but it will also inspire you to think outside the cubicle, travel more, and embark on your own Life 2.0 full of adventure.

About Heidi Siefkas

heidisiefkasauthoradventurerphotoHeidi Siefkas is an author, speaker and adventurer.

Originally from small–‐town Wisconsin, Heidi hangs her hat in South Florida.

However, as an adventurer, she’s rarely home for long. The author of two inspirational books When All Balls Drop and With New Eyes, she has created the mantra

Look Up and speaks to groups worldwide. You can connect with Heidi at www.heidisiefkas.com and on Facebook and Twitter.

Links

Amazon

Facebook

Twitter

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Book Trailer Reveal The Soulmate Checklist

soulmatechecklist

Book Trailer

 

About the Book

soulmate-checklist-cover-11-28-1Title: The Soulmate Checklist

Author: Rani St. Pucchi

Genre: Nonfiction, Romance

RANI ST. PUCCHI delves into the meaning of Soul Mate relationships as she guides you on a quest for love that lasts a lifetime.

Are images of the ideal relationship just fantasy, or do they have basis in truth?

Does everyone have a perfect Soul Mate who is waiting to be found by him or her, or is a “perfect” relationship something that one must develop with oneself first?

Getting beyond the “in love” phase—will the relationship last?

Questions like these and many others are addressed here as Rani provides insights into the nature of personal relationships and Soul Mate love.

The SoulMate Checklist will help you avoid misconceptions about love, find the blueprint for coming to terms with your past, experience unconditional love, and find out what a Soul Mate is—and isn’t.

Author Bio

Rani St. Pucchi, a trendsetting fashion designer whose expertise has been recognized in such media outlets as Entertainment Tonight, Harper’s Bazaar, Town and Country, Bride’s, Cosmopolitan Bride, Martha Stewart Weddings, and The Knot, works to help women define the style that flatters them the most – no matter what their age or stage of life, or what their body type is.

Links

Author website: http://ranistpucchi.com/

Buy on Amazon

Free gift to download 51 Fashion & Styling Tips

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Trailer Blitz Your Body, Your Style

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Book Trailer

Book Excerpt

Rani St. Pucchi teaches you simple tricks on how to dress your body in a way that will enhance your best assets and camouflage areas that you feel uncomfortable about or find lacking in any way.

Elevate your self-confidence by defining your personal style and becoming clear on how you wish to be seen in the world.

Learn a simple process to determine what colors flatter you most and which ones to part with so that you may look more interesting, more assured, and in control.

Receive smart shopping tips, learn the importance of investing in the right lingerie, immerse yourself in simple style advice for your body type and more …

Embrace your unique personality and shine with your body and your style.

About the Book

your-body-your-style-coverTitle: Your Body, Your Style

Author: Rani St. Pucchi

Genre: Nonfiction

Rani St. Pucchi teaches you simple tricks on how to dress your body in a way that will enhance your best assets and camouflage areas that you feel uncomfortable about or find lacking in any way.

Elevate your self-confidence by defining your personal style and becoming clear on how you wish to be seen in the world.

Learn a simple process to determine what colors flatter you most and which ones to part with, so that you may look more interesting, more assured and in control.

Receive smart shopping tips, learn the importance of investing in the right lingerie, immerse yourself in simple style advice for your body type and more …

Embrace your own unique personality and shine with your body, and your own style.

Author Bio

Rani St. Pucchi, a trendsetting fashion designer whose expertise has been recognized in such media outlets as Entertainment Tonight, Harper’s Bazaar, Town and Country, Bride’s, Cosmopolitan Bride, Martha Stewart Weddings, and The Knot, works to help women define the style that flatters them the most – no matter what their age or stage of life, or what their body type is.

Links

Author website: http://ranistpucchi.com/

Buy on Amazon

Free gift to download “51 Fashion & Styling Tips”.

 

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Book Review The Failure of University Education for Development & What To Teach Instead

frontcover-the_failure_of_university_education_for_developmentTitle: The Failure of University Education for Development & What To Teach Instead

Author: Samuel A. Odunsi, Sr.

Genre: Nonfiction, education, economics

Finally, a New Big Idea that Solves Our Toughest Problems.

New book by Samuel A. Odunsi, Sr. defines the problem of tacit cultural knowledge in education and how to solve it.

University education may benefit the individual, but it has not led to overall economic development.  For many developing countries, the hope behind university education far exceeds the results. The ideas and solution presented in this book provides a way to equalize the results of university education with the hope and unrealized expectations behind it.

  • Education cannot teach everything about development. The most crucial aspects of development are tacit in nature and cannot be directly expressed or taught. Instead, they are acquired passively in culture.

  • Liberal Education has struggled with this problem. While its lofty goals are well defined, they cannot be met without the tacit knowledge for development, which it can barely define, much less teach.

  • The concept of “Cultural Diversity” recognizes that there are differences between cultures, including tacit cultural knowledge.

  • The tacit knowledge needed for development is not specific knowledge. Instead it is the connection of the elements of the western economic model, that may be learned in school, to the language capacity that all human beings already possess and use for creatively expressing the spoken language.

  • This is why expatriates from the West and the developed countries of Asia often perform successfully as managers and entrepreneurs in the developing countries, despite the constraints of underdevelopment. To them, the elements of the economic model are merely vocabulary to be expressed as management, administration, or entrepreneurship, using the language capacity.

  • The purpose of university education should be to connect technical knowledge about economic development with the language capacity that students already possess. In the same way that the human language capacity can be repurposed for the use of a second language. Graduates can then express the economic model with the versatility and creativity they already use for expressing the spoken language.

  • The means for achieving this purpose is now available and presented in the book and on this site: HumanRethink.net.

  • Help bring real change to our world. Make it happen now. Contact mail@HumanRethink.net

 

I never really thought about the topic of university education and how it’s so important for development – provided it does its job well. This book explains what is going wrong, why it’s going wrong, and how we can fix it, with a focus on language and culture. A fascinating read.

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