Beyond the Books

First Chapter Reveal: Fix Your Diet, Fix Your Diabetes by Tony Hampton

Title: FIX YOUR DIET FIX YOUR DIABETES
Author: Tony Hampton, MD
Publisher: Windy City Publishers
Pages: 168
Genre: Self-Help
BOOK BLURB:

Want to fix your diabetes?  In this book, I share with my diabetic and borderline diabetic readers that they have the power to reverse or prevent diabetes simply by changing their diets.  It starts with how you think.  By removing old beliefs to new ones that better serve you, the path to recovery from diabetes can be that simple.  Once I provide the rationale for changing old beliefs to more productive ones, I then share with you ways to stay motivated as you journey to a new way of eating.  You are then given a deeper understanding of why so many people have diabetes.  This knowledge will allow you to remove thoughts you may have had where you blamed yourself for having diabetes.  You are then given tips on how to maintain the motivation needed to make a successful transition to a diabetic friendly diet.  Additional knowledge is given about the many complications which could occur when this condition is not well controlled.  Empowered with the understanding of why diabetes occurs and its many complications, you will be given a case for changing how diabetes is treated.  This is done by changing the focus of diabetes management away from the symptoms (elevated glucose), which is how we currently manage this condition, to treating the cause of the disease (insulin resistance).  You are then given the rationale for increasing healthy fats in your diets while reducing starchy carbohydrates and processed foods.  Once this is explained, examples of foods that should be considered for smoothies, snacks, and dinner are given so you will know how to choose foods which are best.   Finally, tips on how to avoid being fooled by marketing labels and claims of so-called healthy foods provide the framework by which great dietary choices can be made.  This new approach to reversing diabetes with diet will reverse diabetes in nearly anyone willing to make these simply lifestyle changes.

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Chapter One:

Fix Your Motivation

“If someone is going down the wrong road,

he doesn’t need motivation to speed him up.

What he needs is education to turn him around.”

~Jim Rohn

Answering the WHY Question

So what is your motivation for reading this book? Is it because you feel it’s time to finally win your battle with diabetes and are looking for the steps you need to take to get you there? Or is it because the world has convinced you that the reason you have this condition is because you have not taken personal responsibility for the lifestyle decisions you have made? If only you would eat less and exercise more, right? That’s what you have been told for so many years and yet no matter what you do, you have not found a path to success.

I have some good news for you. You are not the problem. If that was so, we would be living in a world of unmotivated individuals unwilling to make the necessary changes to improve their overall health. I don’t believe this at all. My experience with patients is that most want to be healthy and are willing to do what’s needed to get healthy.

So if that’s true, what’s been keeping them from finding success? The answer is simple. It’s not a lack of motivation but a lack of information. Yes, the path to success is understanding how our bodies work, which is becoming clearer as more and more research is being done.

In the pages of this book I will share a way of viewing your diet that perhaps no one has taught you before. With this new information you can take the steps needed to make changes in your diet and lifestyle. As you learn how to approach your food options, you will give your body access to the right nutrition. This will help you keep your blood sugars down, ultimately reducing the need for insulin, whether it comes from your pancreas (your insulin factory) or the pharmacy (medication). And yes, eating healthier can be done affordably, as long as you are open to eating some of the things you normally walk away from when shopping.

As a physician, there were times when I blamed my patients for not being at their ideal body weight until I realized one important reality. Maybe their behaviors didn’t lead to their inability to process glucose biochemically, but rather their biochemistry led to the behaviors. You may want to read that last sentence again. In other words, relax and stop blaming yourself.

Once you understand how sugars affect your decisions, you will stop blaming yourself (or anyone else) for your diabetes or the effects it has on your physical condition. You will also learn that all calories are not the same and that some calories are good while others are bad.

For example, calories from sugars are not the best way to receive nutrition, no matter what you’ve been told about how much of your nutrition should be coming from sugars or carbs. In fact, an International Econometric Analysis of Diet and Diabetes found “sugar availability is a significant statistical determinant of diabetes prevalence rates worldwide.”

To put this in perspective, a 12-ounce can of regular Coke contains 39 grams of total sugar, which is about 9-1/3 teaspoons of sugar. The American Heart Association (AHA) has put together a maximum intake allowance for sugar, and according to the AHA, women should have no more than 6 teaspoons per day. Men can have up to 9 teaspoons of sugar daily. So, whether you’re male or female, drinking a single 12-ounce can of Coke goes over the maximum sugar allowance for the day.2 The average American consumes 22 teaspoons daily.

Keeping these facts in mind, it would not surprise you that drinking just one soda per day increases your risk for diabetes by 29 per-cent, regardless of your current weight. So I ask the question again, are you lacking motivation or lacking knowledge? I think you know the answer. Now let’s start by looking at ways you can stay motivated as you work toward your goal of fixing your diabetes.

Set a Goal

The first step is to define your goal. Your short-term goal may be to get your Hemoglobin A1c under 7. Or maybe you have a long-term goal of preventing many of the complications of diabetes, like blindness or kidney failure. Either way, defining your goals will be an important step in reaching them.

Keep your goals realistic and focused. Goals that are out of reach only create an unrealistic illusion. For example, I’m a tennis fan and dream of playing at Wimbledon someday. But the reality is that I am at an age and skill level where this is an impossible dream. Likewise, if your goals are not focused, you may find yourself trying to accom-plish more than your brain can handle. This results in mental fatigue, which will sap your confidence.

Now let’s look at the benefits of sharing your goals.

Share Your Goal

I must admit, this is risky. Even your friends and family, who should be your greatest source of support, can sometimes be your greatest source of discouragement. Many times they are not aware that they are harming you. They want to limit your expectations so they can protect you from failure. All the same, friends and family can be our greatest ally as we work towards our goals. We want them on board when we are trying to accomplish anything, so talk to them and let them know you are determined to change and succeed. They will help keep you from falling off the wagon whenever a little motivation is needed. Your diabetes control may depend on it.

Introduce Your Goal to Your Refrigerator

In a world where stainless steel is becoming the norm, I hope I don’t upset anyone with the idea of putting anything on that fancy refrigerator door. But this may be the best way to find the daily reminder you’ll need to stay motivated. Most of us will pass by that big ice box at least once daily. Why not repurpose it as a reminder of your personal goals? Such a reminder could be exactly what you need to get your day started on the right foot. Consider a picture of your diabetes medicines with a big X over it. This could serve as your aspirational goal of using your diet to get off medicines.

Partner With Others to Help You Reach Your Goals

Have you ever thought, “If only I had a life coach?” Imagine having someone to help you as you take your journey to a place you’ve never been before. How secure would you feel knowing that you’re not alone, but have a built-in support system to help you along the way? Partnering with someone can make this all possible.

Partnerships create an accountability that for some of us is not easily achieved alone. Not only will you benefit, but you will be return-ing the favor by providing the same support for the person you’ve created your partnership with. You are now accountable to each other, sharing both your successes and failures. Even the most successful motivational speakers, like Anthony Robbins, have life coaches. Think about the people in your circle and see if someone could fill this role in your life. If you can’t find one in your circle, consider hiring a professional life coach or joining a diabetes support group in your area.

Focus on What’s Important to You, Not What’s Important to Others

The reality for many of us is that we spend too much time focused on other people’s agendas—whether it’s doing activities you really don’t want to do, not knowing how to say no, or allowing others to dictate how you should live your life. The key is to reflect on your own goals and allow those goals to set your day’s agenda. Once you remove distractions caused by others, there will be plenty of time to do the things that are meaningful to you.

If you rarely feel motivated, making this shift could correct your energy levels. When you’re doing things for yourself, motivation will naturally be high because you’re doing what your own spirit desires. Doing other people’s work will never create the motivation you need to accomplish anything.

Be Careful of the Words You Use Daily

You are what you think or say you are. If you use negative words to describe yourself or your capacity to reach your goals, you will likely fulfill those negative expectations. When was the last time you recall a negative-thinking person accomplishing much or inspiring others? This doesn’t happen. Understanding that our thoughts become our reality is one of the most important keys to creating an environment that fosters success. If you believe you can fix your diabetes, you will.

Create a Positive Environment to Nurture Your Spirit

I listen to inspirational messages daily. Messages from those who have mastered the art of positive thinking. They are so easy to find— in books, with an Internet search, or on Youtube. This has changed my life and it will do the same for you.

All you need to do is take a few minutes each day to get the positive juices flowing. This will enable you to counter the negative forces you will certainly face each day. Whether it’s the local news, a negative co-worker, a mean boss, or an unsupportive family member, your ability to manage the negative energy they are emitting is made easier with the armor of positive thoughts in your head.

So take a moment to think about all your activities and the time and resources they use. Then start the process of removing those activities which don’t add value or help you reach your goal of better controlling your diabetes. By replacing activities which don’t serve you with activities that do, you will find it easier to reach your goals. Will you have the courage to take away those activities which have been part of your routine for so long? Sometimes it’s what we don’t do that harms us the most

Take a w a y s

  • Reflect and decide WHY you are motivated to fix your diabetes. Your motivation may be a person, or it may be a goal you are trying to reach.
  • Set a specific goal with a defined date to reach it.

This could be a target level of hemoglobin A1c.

  • Share your goal with someone who wants to help you reach it, to create accountability.
  • Write your goal on a sticky note and place it on your refrigerator as a daily reminder.
  • Get yourself a life coach.
  • Focus on your own priorities and not the priorities of others.
  • Speak encouraging language to yourself and others.
  • Make sure your day is started with positives messages.

 

About the Author

Dr. Tony Hampton has been treating patients with multiple chronic conditions for nearly two decades. In addition to his role as an Advocate Medical Group (AMG) family physician over the last nine years, Dr. Hampton currently holds multiple responsibilities within the Advocate Healthcare, including Medical Director of AMG Beverly, Vice-Chair of AMG’s Governing Council, Chair of Health Outcomes Committee and Co-Chair of Executive Diversity Council.

Over the last two years, Dr. Hampton has worked closely with AOS, successfully piloting advancements in AMG’s operations management systems. He is a champion for change that results in greater work-life balance for physicians and an enhanced patient experience. His interpersonal skills, clinical knowledge, and desire for strong patient/team engagement will continue to make Tony an asset to the AOS team.

A regular speaker for the American Diabetes Association and consultant for the Illinois Department of Public Health’s Initiative to Improve Diabetes Care, Dr. Hampton is passionate about empowering patients by changing old beliefs to new ones which better serve them using evidence-based medicine. Educating them on the root cause of disease processes and the importance of diet provides the path to positive health outcomes for diabetics, borderline diabetics, and patients not at their ideal body weight.

He is a Certified Physician Executive (CPE) and earned his MBA from the University of Phoenix. Tony authored the book Fix Your Diabetes, Fix Your Diet, Your Dietary Solution to Reversing Diabetes which was published in April 2017.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

 

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Character Interview: Sally Solari from Leslie Karst’s culinary mystery, A Measure of Murder

character interviews logoWe’re thrilled to have here today Sally Solari from Leslie Karst’s new culinary mystery, A Measure or Murder.  Sally Solari is a 39-year-old restaurateur/ex-lawyer living in Santa Cruz, California.

It is a pleasure to have her with us today at Beyond the Books!

Thank you so for this interview, Sally.  Now that the book has been written, do you feel you were fairly portrayed or would you like to set anything straight with your readers?

Measure CoverI’m aware that years ago Leslie Karst waited tables for a couple of years and then worked at the student-run restaurant during her stint as a culinary arts student, but I have to say her portrayal of me as a restaurateur is not one hundred percent accurate. The real-life grind of running a restaurant is far less glamorous than she makes it out to be in the book. Yes, we do occasionally have fun testing out new recipes and yes, working the hot line can be an amazing rush when all the cooks are in sync and the kitchen is sending out perfectly plated entrées at a whirlwind rate. But the work I do at Solari’s (my dad’s restaurant, where I run the front of the house) and Gauguin (the restaurant I inherited from my aunt) is more often a drudgery than it is a thrill. 

In Leslie’s defense, however, an honest, true-to-life book about the inner workings of a restaurant would be pretty darn boring and tedious. After all, who wants to read about someone standing all night long over a hot stove flipping salmon fillets and stirring sauce pots? Or chopping up cases of onions and chicken parts? So I guess it’s for the best that she spiced up my life a tad and cherry-picked the more interesting events that have happened of late at Solari’s and Gauguin (and there have indeed been quite a few!).

Do you feel the author did a good job colorizing your personality?  If not, how would you like to have been portrayed differently?

Part of me would like to pretend that I’m not nearly as sarcastic as portrayed in the book, but the realist in me is well aware of my affinity for snark.

What do you believe is your strongest trait?

Perseverance.

Worst trait?

Stubbornness (which is really just another way of saying perseverance).

If you could choose someone in the television or movie industry to play your part if your book was made into a movie, who would that be (and you can’t say yourself!)?

Funny you should ask this, because I had this exact conversation with my ex-boyfriend and current bestie, Eric, just the other day. I couldn’t come up with anyone, but he suggested Jennifer Garner. Who would be a terrific choice, by the way—she’s an awesome actress and gorgeous, to boot. But the fact that Eric has had an enormous time crush on Jennifer Garner ever since she starred in Alias makes me a tad worried that maybe this is his way of hinting that he still kind of carries the torch for me.

Do you have a love interest in the book?

Not unless you consider Eric’s possible desire to rekindle our past relationship to be a love interest (see answer to previous question). 

Oh, wait… Come to think of it, maybe there is an eensie-weensie attraction on my part that occurs in the book. But you’ll just have to read it to see what you think.

At what point of the book did you start getting nervous about the way it was going to turn out?

That happened right away—on page three, during my audition for Eric’s damn chorus. I’m still mad at him for suckering me into that traumatic experience. And then later, after that tenor fell to his death on the church courtyard, I had a pretty strong hunch that the whole thing might have been a very bad idea.

If you could trade places with one of the other characters in the book, which character would you really not want to be and why?

Perhaps this is too obvious, but I would definitely not want to trade places with the tenor who falls to his death. Not only is he barely even in the book (since he’s dead by chapter two), but from what I’ve since learned, although the guy had the voice of an angel, he had the personality of an arrogant jerk. I may have my snarky moments, but I would never want to be that gal who, if murdered, everyone would say of them, “Oh, well there were so many people who would have had a reason to do her in.”

How do you feel about the ending of the book, without giving too much away?

I’m elated to have finally sung the glorious Mozart Requiem, relieved that the Gauguin kitchen was not burnt to a crisp by a crazed murderer, and happy that the Gauguin bar stayed open late enough on that last night for us to celebrate both of these things.

What words of wisdom would you give your author if she decided to write another book with you in it?

Leslie’s been writing this series in the first person, even though we are, of course, completely different people. So it’s always a little strange for me to read the books, especially the parts where she purports to understand my innermost thoughts. But I have to admit she does tend to get me right. It’s almost as if she has some kind of secret key to my soul. Weird, that. 

So I guess my primary words of wisdom would be these: Keep doing what you’re doing, and don’t stress too much about what I may think of the book, trying to ensure that every tiny piece of the story is absolutely accurate. I get that you have to take a certain amount if artistic liberty in depicting me and my stories. As long as the essence rings true, that’s truly all that matters.

Thank you for this interview, Sally.  Will we be seeing more of you in the future?

I happen to be privy to the fact that Leslie has now completed book three in her Sally Solari mystery series—based on events that occurred in my life only last year. It recounts how, inspired by the eye-popping canvases of Paul Gauguin, for whom my restaurant is named, I convince Eric to enroll in a plein air painting class. But the beauty of the Monterey Bay coastline is shattered during one of our outings when my dog, Buster, sniffs out a body entangled in a pile of kelp on the beach. 

This next book focuses on the Italian fishing community in Santa Cruz, including the food and cooking favored by the “original sixty families” who emigrated there from Liguria in the late 1800s. It’s entitled Death al Fresco, and will be published in early 2018.

 karst headshot.jpg

 

The daughter of a law professor and a potter, Leslie Karst learned at a young age, during family dinner conversations, the value of both careful analysis and the arts—ideal ingredients for a mystery story. Putting this early education to good use, she now now writes the Sally Solari Mysteries (Dying for a TasteA Measure of Murder), a culinary series set in Santa Cruz, California.

Originally from Southern California, Leslie moved north to attend UC Santa Cruz (home of the Fighting Banana Slugs) and after graduation, parlayed her degree in English literature into employment waiting tables and singing in a new wave rock and roll band. Exciting though this life was, she eventually decided she was ready for a “real” job, and ended up at Stanford Law School.

For the next twenty years Leslie worked as the research and appellate attorney for Santa Cruz’s largest civil law firm. During this time, she rediscovered a passion for food and cooking, and so once more returned to school to earn a degree in culinary arts.

Now retired from the law, she spends her time cooking, gardening, cycling, singing alto in her local community chorus, reading, and of course writing. Leslie and her wife and their Jack Russell mix split their time between Santa Cruz and Hilo, Hawai‘i.

Title: A Measure of Murder

Genre: Mystery

Author: Leslie Karst

Websitehttp://www.lesliekarstauthor.com/

Publisher: Crooked Lane

Find out more on Amazon

First Chapter Reveal: The Mentor by Lee Matthew Goldberg

The Mentor

Title: THE MENTOR
Author: Lee Matthew Goldberg
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books / St. Martin’s Press
Pages: 336
Genre: Thriller / Suspense / Mystery

Kyle Broder has achieved his lifelong dream and is an editor at a major publishing house.

When Kyle is contacted by his favorite college professor, William Lansing, Kyle couldn’t be happier. Kyle has his mentor over for dinner to catch up and introduce him to his girlfriend, Jamie, and the three have a great time. When William mentions that he’s been writing a novel, Kyle is overjoyed. He would love to read the opus his mentor has toiled over.

Until the novel turns out to be not only horribly written, but the most depraved story Kyle has read.

After Kyle politely rejects the novel, William becomes obsessed, causing trouble between Kyle and Jamie, threatening Kyle’s career, and even his life. As Kyle delves into more of this psychopath’s work, it begins to resemble a cold case from his college town, when a girl went missing. William’s work is looking increasingly like a true crime confession.

Lee Matthew Goldberg’s The Mentor is a twisty, nail-biting thriller that explores how the love of words can lead to a deadly obsession with the fate of all those connected and hanging in the balance.

 

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Chapter One:

FROM FAR AWAY the trees at Bentley College appeared as if on fire, crowns of nuclear leaves dotting the skyline. Professor William Lansing knew it meant that fall had firmly arrived. Once October hit, the Connecticut campus became festooned with brilliant yellows, deep reds, and Sunkist orange nature. People traveled for miles to witness the foliage, rubbernecking up I-95 and flocking to nearby Devil’s Hopyard, a giant park where the students might perform Shakespeare, or enter its forest gates at nighttime to get high and wild. William had taken a meandering hike through its labyrinthine trails that morning before his seminar on Existential Ethics in Literature. It had been over a decade since he’d entered its tree-lined arms, but today, the very day he was reaching the part in his long-gestating novel that took place in Devil’s Hopyard, seemed like a fitting time to return.

His wife Laura hadn’t stirred when he left at dawn. He slipped out of bed and closed the mystery novel propped open on her snoring chest. He often wrote early in the mornings. Before the world awoke, he’d arm himself with a steaming coffee and a buzzing laptop, the wind from off the Connecticut River pinching his cheeks. His chirping backyard would become a den of inspiration, or he’d luxuriate in the silence of Bentley at six a.m. when the only sound might be a student or two trundling down the Green to sleep off a fueled night of debauchery.

He’d been at Bentley for over twenty years, tenured and always next in line to be department chair. He refused even the notion of the position for fear it might eat into time spent writing his opus. His colleagues understood this mad devotion. They too had their sights set on publications, most of them well regarded in journals, only a few of them renowned beyond Bentley’s walls like William dreamed to be. Notoriety had dazzled him since he was a child—a time when his world seemed small and lifeless and dreams of fame were his only escape.

His colleagues often questioned him about this elusive manuscript he’d been toiling on for years, but he found it best to remain tight-lipped, to entice mystery. It was how he ran his classroom as well, letting only a few chosen students get close, keeping the rest at enough of a distance to regard him as tough and impenetrable but fair. Maybe he’d made a few students cry when a paper they stayed up all night to finish received a failing grade, or when his slashes of red pen seemed to consume one of their essays on Sartre’s Nausea, which he found trite and pedestrian; but that only made them want to do better the next time. They understood that he wanted his kingdom to be based on fear, for creativity soared in times of distress.

William’s legs were sore after his hike that morning through Devil’s Hopyard. The terrain was hilly and its jagged trails would challenge even a younger man, but he kept fit, wearing his fifty-five year old frame well. He was an athlete back in school, a runner and a boxer who still kept a punching bag in the basement and ended his day with a brisk run through his town of Killingworth, a blue-collar suburban enclave surrounding Bentley’s college-on-a-hill. He had all his hair, which was more than he could say for most of his peers, even though silver streaks now cut through the brown. He secretly believed this made him more dashing than during his youth. Women twenty years younger still gave him a second glance, and he often found Laura taking his hand at department functions and squeezing it tight, as if to indicate that she fully claimed him and there’d be no chance for even the most innocent of flirtations. He had a closet full of blazers with elbow patches and never wore ties so he could keep his collar open and expose his chest hair, which hadn’t turned white yet. He had a handsome and regal face, well proportioned, and while his eyes drooped some due to a lifetime of battling insomnia, it gave him the well-worn look of being entirely too busy to sleep. People often spoke of him as a soul who never enjoyed being idle, someone who was always moving, expounding, and expanding.

“Hi, Professor Lansing,” said Nathaniel, a tall and gangly freshman, who after three weeks into the semester had yet to look William in the eye. Nathaniel’s legs twisted over one another with each step. William guessed that the boy had recently grown into his pole-like body and his brain now struggled with how to move it properly.

“Nathaniel,” William said, wiping the sweat mustache from his top lip. He could smell his own lemony perspiration from the intense jaunt through Devil’s Hopyard. “How did your paper on The Stranger turn out?”

Nathaniel’s eyes seemed to avoid him even more. They became intent on taking in the colorful foliage, as if it had sprouted overnight.

“Well…” the boy began, still a hair away from puberty, his voice hitting a high octave, “I’m not totally sure what you meant about Meursault meeting his end because he didn’t ‘play the game’.”

William responded with a throaty laugh and a shake of his head. He placed a palm on Nathaniel’s shoulder.

“Society’s game, Nathaniel, the dos and don’ts we all must ascribe to. How, even if we slip on occasion, we’re not supposed to admit what we did for fear of being condemned. Right?”

Nathaniel nodded, his rather large Adam’s apple bobbing up and down in agreement too. He stuffed a bitten-down nail between his chapped lips and chewed away like a rat, leaving William to wonder if the boy was on some new-fangled type of speed. He liked Nathaniel, who barely spoke in class, but once in a while would give a nervous peep filled with promise. The students he paid the most attention to weren’t the heads of the lacrosse team or the stars of the theater productions, those students would have a million other mentors fawning over them. He looked for the hidden jewels, the ones who were waiting for that extra push, who’d been passed over their whole lives but would someday excel past their peers. Then they would thank him wholeheartedly for igniting a spark.

“Is that why Camus didn’t personalize the victim that Meursault killed?” Nathaniel asked, wary at first, as the two entered the doors of Fanning Hall past a swirl of other students. “So we sympathize with him despite his crime?”

William stopped in front of his classroom, its cloudy window offering a haze of students settling into their desks. He stood blocking the door so Nathaniel had no choice but to look in his eyes.

“Did you sympathize with him?”

“Yes…umm, it’s hard to penalize someone for one mistake,” Nathaniel said. “I know he shot the Arab guy, but…I don’t know, sometimes things just happen. I guess that makes me callous.”

“Or human.”

William stared at Nathaniel for an uncomfortable extra few seconds before Kelsey, a pretty sorority girl with canary yellow hair, fluttered past them.

“Hey, Professor,” Kelsey said, without looking Nathaniel’s way. William could feel the boy’s sigh crowding the hallway.

“Come, Nathaniel, we’ll continue this debate in class.”

William led the boy into the room. The students immediately became hushed and rigid as he entered.

Nathaniel slumped into a chair in the back while Kelsey cut off another girl to get a prime seat up front.

William placed his leather satchel on the table, took out a red marker, and scribbled on the board, I didn’t know what a sin was. The handwriting looked like chicken scratch and the students had to squint a bit to decipher it; but eventually the entire class of twenty managed to correctly jot down the quote. They had gotten used to his idiosyncrasies.

“At the end of the novel, Meursault ponders that he didn’t know what a sin was,” William said. “What does that mean?”

A quarter of the class raised their hands, each one eager to be noticed. Kelsey clicked her tongue for attention, as if her desperation wasn’t obvious enough. She looked like she had to pee. In the back, Nathaniel was fully absorbed in a doodle that resembled Piglet from Winnie the Pooh.

“Nathaniel,” William barked, sending the pen flying out of the boy’s hand. Nathaniel weaved his long arms around the desk to pick up the pen and then gave a slack-jawed expression as a response.

“Why does Meursault insist to the chaplain that he didn’t know what a sin was?” William continued.

Nathaniel silently pleaded for William to call on someone else. He let out an “uuuhhhhhhh” that lasted through endless awkward seconds.

Kelsey took it upon herself to chime in.

“Professor, while Meursault understands he’s been found guilty for his crime, he doesn’t truly see that what he did was wrong.”

William turned toward Kelsey to admonish her for speaking without being called on, a nasty habit that happened more and more with this ADD-addled generation than the prior one, but a red-leaf tree outside the window captured his attention instead, its color so unreal, so absorbing. The red so vibrant like its leaves had been painted with blood.

“Professor…professor.”

The sound came from far away, as if hidden under the earth, screaming to be acknowledged.

“Professor Lansing?”

Kelsey waved her arm in his direction, grounding him. She gave a pout.

“Like, am I right, or what, Professor? He doesn’t truly see that what he did was wrong.”

William cleared his throat, maintaining control over the room. He smiled at them the same way he would for a photograph.

“Yes, that’s true, Kelsey. Expressing remorse would constitute his actions as wrong. He knows his views make him a stranger to society, and he is content with this judgment. He accepts death and looks forward to it with peace. The crowds will cheer hatefully at his beheading, but they will be cheering. This is what captivates the readers almost seventy years after the book’s publication. What keeps it and Camus eternal, immortal.”

Kelsey beamed at the class, her grin smug as ever.

William went to the board, erased the quote, and replaced it with the word IMMORTAL in big block letters, this time written with the utmost perfect penmanship.

 

THE REST OF William’s day included a creative writing class that he’d had to beg the Department chair, Dr. Joyce Yancey, to give him, and an independent study on Edgar Allen Poe, which two seniors took. Mondays were his busiest since he booked all his classes and then took the rest of the week for writing and office hours. Dr. Yancey had been hesitant about offering him a creative writing class, simply because he hadn’t put out a novel yet and prospective students might want a ‘bigger name’. Brooks Jessup, a newer hire, had a lockdown on the creative writing seminars after publishing a literary thriller to some acclaim that he liked to obnoxiously describe as a ‘modern Faulkneresque journey’. But this semester, Brooks had gotten a nice deal for his second novel, so a freshman seminar opened up. Unfortunately, the class was available for anyone to take and most of the students were just there to express themselves or fulfill a requirement rather than actually displaying talent.

When William returned home, his house was eerily still. His twin children, Alicia and Bill, had lived there while going to Bentley so it’d only been a few years since they moved out. He hadn’t entirely gotten used to their absence yet. They’d purchased a ramshackle bar in the next town over and chose to room together in the apartment above. Laura thought it best that they stayed at home to save money in case the bar went belly up, but William advocated for their independence. Ideally he wanted them to live apart and forge separate lives, but they always had a close symbiotic relationship he assumed one could only have from sharing a womb. As an only child, he had to admit being jealous. He couldn’t think of anyone he was that close to besides Laura, and he was twenty-five when he met her. Twenty-five years of experiences that she’d never be able to share in so they could fully understand one another like a twin would.

The glass door to the backyard slid open and Laura emerged with a basket of squash blossoms in her hands. She wore heavy gardening gloves and had a swatch of dirt across her forehead, often from combing her hair out of her face after digging into the ground. Four years older than him and pushing sixty, she was beginning to slow down but she still had a youthful face. The long New England winters kept her away from any excess sun exposure and her skin was porcelain smooth, the color of pearls. Her light blonde hair had thinned out some and turned off-white, but she maintained it to the best of her ability through weekly trips to a salon in Old Saybrook. She’d always been a nervously thin woman, prone to being spooked, and had gray eyes that took on whatever color she wore. She dressed simply, matronly, but no one would ever say she didn’t have style. Sweaters were tied around her neck, a cross necklace often sat above her heart, and white gold bracelets usually jangled from her wrists. She might be described as quiet, which William liked. The two of them never worried about lulls in conversations. Dinners were sometimes spent reading over the papers silently, occasionally remarking on the news of the day. She was a loving and doting woman, and after all these years the couple still appeared drawn to one another.

Laura was humming an indecipherable song as she stepped inside, likely from her church choir. The choir took classic songs and updated them by inserting The Lord for baby, love, or honey. She leaned forward and squinted at William before a warm smile broke out. She fumbled with her glasses and hung them low on her nose.

“Oh, William, I didn’t even see you. Been home long?”

William pointed to his leather satchel, still in hand.

“Just got in.”

She fixed the basket of squashes on her knee to get a better grip and then hoisted it onto the dining room table.

“Cabbage worms have been gobbling these up,” she said. “Hit them with the Spinosad, but had to spend the day watching over them like a hawk.”

He never envied her days. It seemed as if she spent too much time finding ways to fill up her time. She had the church and did charity work for them, lunched with a smattering of friends, and of course had her bookcases full of mystery novels; but William always felt he was the most exciting part of her life, which saddened him. They’d met studying literature in grad school, and he’d tried to get her to start writing her own novel too. She gave the excuse that she could only write what she knew and few would want to read what she knew these days.

“I was thinking spaghetti squash with marinara sauce, maybe some turkey meatballs to cut down on your red meat intake like the doctor suggested.”

William frowned. Besides his opus, red meat was one of his other true passions. He liked it as rare as possible, practically raw.

“I’m reaching a major part in my novel tonight so I might just eat in the study.”

She clapped her hands and gave him a peck on the cheek.

“Oh, William, how exciting. I’ll cook up some mixed beef and pork meatballs then.”

She gave him a pat on the butt.

“Well, go now, scoot up there and get to finishing.”

He kissed her on the lips and wiped away the smear of dirt on her forehead. Her cheeks reddened.

“The novel’s really good, Laura. I mean…I feel like I’ve finally figured out the snags.”

She fiddled with her cross necklace.

“Of course you have. I married you for your brain, not your body.”

She gave a harder pat on his butt, shooing him away and humming louder than before as she removed the squash from the basket.

He retreated upstairs.

That night, he furiously typed for hours, demented in his strokes. He had devoted over ten years to these words and tears crinkled at the edges of his eyes as he reached the midpoint of the novel. A melancholic aura filtered through the room, the frightening notion of what might come next once the project was done. He assumed that this was what all novelists wrestled with, the desire to elongate their works to avoid saying farewell to the characters. Saying good-bye meant killing them; it meant finality, and this weighed heavy on his heart.

The next morning, the sun baked through the window as he relished in the solitary bliss of a creation born from his mind alone. This meditation became interrupted by a thwack against the front door. He cocooned himself in a bathrobe, slid on slippers, and headed downstairs. Opening the front door, he swiped the Times and the local paper, The Killingworth Gazette. A biting breeze rustled his bones as he closed the door. Winter would be arriving soon. He tossed the two bound-up papers on the dining room table and brewed a pot of coffee. Sitting down, he picked up the Gazette and read the article on the front page.

Former Bentley College Student Strikes Gold as an NYC Editor.

A massive picture of Kyle Broder, handsome and chiseled with stylishly messy dirty-blonde hair and sea blue eyes, stared back at him. William was shocked to see his former student, one he knew well. At thirty, Kyle had just brokered a mega-deal at Burke & Burke Publishing for his debut author, Sierra Raven. Beyond being Sierra’s first novel, this was her agent’s first client and Kyle’s first acquisition as an editor after his recent promotion. The book had gone to auction and ultimately Sierra got an unreal $500,000 advance before the novel had even been finished. Film rights had already sold to a major movie studio for another $500,000.

Wonderful fate had delivered this news to William’s door. If this girl could get a deal with Kyle before completing her novel, then he certainly had a shot too, especially since he already had an “in”.

He sat back with his hands laced behind his head and couldn’t help but smile.

About the Author

Lee Matthew Goldberg

Lee Matthew Goldberg’s novel THE MENTOR is forthcoming from Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press in June 2017 and has been acquired by Macmillan Entertainment. The French edition will be published by Editions Hugo. His debut novel SLOW DOWN is out now. His pilot JOIN US was a finalist in Script Pipeline’s TV Writing Competition. After graduating with an MFA from the New School, his fiction has also appeared in The Montreal Review, The Adirondack Review, Essays & Fictions, The New Plains Review, Verdad Magazine, BlazeVOX, and others. He is the co-curator of The Guerrilla Lit Reading Series. He lives in New York City.

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Character Interview: Del Corwyn from John Herrick’s romantic comedy, Beautiful Mess

character interviews logoWe’re thrilled to have here today Del Corwyn from John Herrick’s new romantic comedy, Beautiful Mess.  Del is a 78-year-old Academy Award-nominated actor living in Hollywood.

It is a pleasure to have him with us today at Beyond the Books!

Thank you so much for this interview, Del.  Now that the book has been written, do you feel you were fairly portrayed or would you like to set anything straight with your readers?

Beautiful-Mess-Low-Resolution-Color-Book-CoverOverall, I’d say the author did a fair job portraying me. That’s all I want: a fair shot. That said, he didn’t need to tell the whole world I sleep in the buff. TMI, as I think people still say these days. But to set the record straight, I’m not as shallow as I first come across. Yes, I’m a connoisseur of women. Yes, I prefer them half my age. But even a guy like me, who’s become so settled in his ways, can change where he least expects it.

And no matter what people might tell you, Marilyn Monroe and I were never intimately involved.

Do you feel the author did a good job colorizing your personality?  If not, how would you like to have been portrayed differently?

Colorize, my ass! I live in full color and I’m about to return to that beautiful, glowing spotlight! Destiny is yours to build. And if all goes as planned, that elusive Mr. Oscar might come trotting my way.

Don’t tell anyone, but as an actor, I haven’t been in demand since the 1970s, and I refuse to make that second-rate crap that would make the public label me a has-been. So I do wish the author would have put me on the set of a major film and given me the chance to prove I’ve still got it.

What do you believe is your strongest trait?

I’m young at heart. I believe you’re only as old as you allow yourself to behave. And I don’t give up. If the industry is gonna kill my career, I’m gonna go down fighting, maybe crack a few bigwigs in the balls along the way.

Worst trait?

I have a tough time being honest with myself. If reality doesn’t suit me, I’m content to build my own fictional world until reality has a chance to catch up. Some consider that a weakness, but you only live this life once. I refuse to spend it bird watching, sitting on a park bench with my mouth hanging open. Forget it.

And the ladies—well, that’s another weakness for me. So many possibilities, and I’m afraid to tie myself down. But Felicia, my latest love interest in the book, seems to have made some inroads.

If you could choose someone in the television or movie industry to play your part if your book was made into a movie, who would that be (and you can’t say yourself!)?

And give away my big comeback? Are you kidding? Forget the rules, I’d play the part myself. And Clint Eastwood could direct—badass! (Oops, that last remark won’t make sense unless you read the book.)

What’s that? You insist on picking another actor to play me? Well, then, I don’t know—Craig T. Nelson, does that work?

Do you have a love interest in the book?

Yes, but I didn’t see this one coming. And she’s only ten years younger than I am. Talk about a surprise. She’s also the unofficial psychologist I never asked for, but for some reason, she intrigues me and I think I’m in love. What she sees in me, I have no idea. But she understands me. We understand each other. And you know what? I don’t think she wants anything from me but love. But I push her buttons to just to make sure.

At what point of the book did you start getting nervous about the way it was going to turn out?

When I started to allow my conscience to guide me. That irritated me. You see, Marilyn Monroe was a close friend of mine. When the book opens, I’m on the verge of bankruptcy, waiting for my second shot at the spotlight. One night, sifting through some personal memorabilia, I found a screenplay Marilyn had put it my care—a screenplay she had written herself. She instructed me to use it as I saw fit if anything should happen to her. She passed away later that year. In the book, this script blew the minds of everyone in Hollywood who read it. It was the biggest entertainment news in a generation—and I was the kingmaker, a role I’d never played in my life. So there I was, Hollywood’s hot property once again, and my damn conscience shows up. I realized people didn’t want to bring Marilyn’s vision to pass; they just wanted a piece of her all over again. Suddenly, Hollywood’s hot property once again, and my damn conscience shows up. I realized people didn’t want to bring Marilyn’s creative vision to pass; they just wanted a piece of her all over again. Suddenly, I had a choice: Do I honor my friend’s memory or do I seize my return to fame? Or can I accomplish both? You’ll need to read Beautiful Mess to find out. And as you do, I’ll show you a side to Marilyn Monroe that you might not know existed.

If you could trade places with one of the other characters in the book, which character would you really not want to be and why?

I wouldn’t want to trade places with Marilyn Monroe. No, her spotlight never faded. And yes, she remains a legend. But she endured a lot of tragedy along the way. I watched her life unfold behind the scenes, and it wasn’t as glamorous as it looked.

So I’d trade places with Nora Jumelle. She’s a hot new actress. Her star has just begun to rise. People are breaking down her door to get a piece of her. She has the talent to do anything she want she wants and the vibrancy to match.

How do you feel about the ending of the book without giving too much away?

Let’s just say the ending stays with me every day of my life. It was a bit drastic, but the right decision—I don’t trust myself. But I don’t think you’ll see the ending coming. The other characters literally look directly at it and they don’t even see it. Ha! Some secrets you’ve gotta take to the grave.

What words of wisdom would you give your author if he decided to write another book with you in it?

Never count me out. And please, Herrick, don’t send me to my grave before I’m 105 years old. Seriously. I plan to outlive George Burns and rack up 30 million Twitter followers.

Oh, and this is just a personal favor: next time around, could you please show a few fans snapping pictures of my star on Hollywood Boulevard? I can use all the good publicity I can get. No more punks rolling all over my star like you did in this book, okay?

Thank you for this interview, Del.  Will we be seeing more of you in the future?

I’d tell you “no” and claim that I’m retired, but you never know. I’ve still got one more film in me … one day.

In the meantime, you can find out more about me at www.johnherrick.net, Facebook, or @JohnHerrick on Twitter. I’m also at Goodreads.

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Character Interview: Detective Al Warner from George A Bernstein’s suspense/thriller ‘The Prom Dress Killer’

character interviewWe’re thrilled to have here today Detective Al Warner, from George A Bernstein’s new suspense/thriller, The Prom Dress Killer.  Al Warner is a forty-one-year-old police detective, living in Miami, Florida.

It is a pleasure to have him with us today at Beyond the Books!

Thank you so for this interview, Detective Warner.  Now that the book has been written, do you feel you were fairly portrayed or would you like to set anything straight with your readers?

I think Mr. Bernstein did an very good job of that, although I’m a little uncomfortable at people learning that someone like me, a tough guy with a lot of hard bark on him, can be a compassionate softy for those in need. I just seem to take very personally the trauma heaped on people by heartless killers – both the victims and their families.

ThePromDressKillerprintcover5.5x8.5_BW_30018mar2017.jpg

Do you feel the author did a good job colorizing your personality?  If not, how would you like to have been portrayed differently?

Well, as I said, he exposed both my compassionate side, and also that I can be a romantic, very much in love. I’d prefer the public to think of me as a hard-nosed case-closer, with no empathy for villains. They already know, from past cases, that I’m ready and able to put monsters out of their misery – permanently. They don’t need to know that I’m a softy for an old lady neighbor, a rescued golden retriever, and that I’m trying to build strong role models for young gang-bangers to get them off the streets and into productive lives.

What do you believe is your strongest trait?

My gut. My ability to “smell” something is “off,” and my unrelenting drive to take killers off the streets.

Worse trait?

That sometimes I let my strong sense of principal dictate actions that are not in my best personal interest.

If you could choose someone in the television or movie industry to play your part if your book was made into a movie, who would that be (and you can’t say yourself!)?

Matt Damon.

Do you have a love interest in the book?

Yes. Doctor Eva Guttenberg. I still have trouble accepting that such a smart, gorgeous, and sophisticated woman might love me, a street-tough guy from a poor Illinois background.

At what point of the book did you start getting nervous about the way it was going to turn out?

Near the end, when I was faced with an impossible choice, while in pursuit of the killer.

If you could trade places with one of the other characters in the book, which character would you really not want to be and why?

The killer, of course. He was a deluded psychopath, with no real empathy for all but his last victim. I did admire, however, his care and attention to detail, to avoid capture for so many years.

How do you feel about the ending of the book without giving too much away?

Conflicted. The crimes are solved, but I’m left with a difficult personal problem for which there is no easy solution. I should be used to that, however, as I’ve “been there before,” during previous cases and with different people.

What words of wisdom would you give your author if s/he decided to write another book with you in it?

Keep the cases tough and unique. I love a challenge, but in the end, I intend to get the guy, whoever he is. Any of my detectives can solve the run-of-the-mill drug or passion-related murders.

Thank you for this interview, Detective Warner.  Will we be seeing more of you in the future?

Yes. Mr. Bernstein is already well into my next case, and from what I’ve seen, it won’t be any easier than my first three with him.

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Title:  THE PROM DRESS KILLER
Genre: Mystery/Suspense
Author: George A Bernstein
Publisher: GnD Publishing
Find out more on Amazon
Beneath the blazing sun and sizzling streets of Miami, a cold-blooded killer is at work.  His victims?  Young, auburn-haired women—four, so far—kidnapped and murdered.  These victims show no signs of trauma, but all bear the distinct hallmarks of a serial killer.  And this serial killer leaves behind a sickening calling card:  each victim is found clad in a prom dress.
Homicide detective Al Warner is on the case but this killer has left shockingly few clues, leaving Warner with more questions than answers.  Why were these girls taken…and then killed?  Is this psychopath intent on killing redheads, and why?  What, if anything, connects the victims?  Why were the bodies arranged in peaceful repose, wearing prom dresses?  How does that square with his leaving these carefully-arranged bodies in dark alleyways, discarding them as if they’re trash? And how long until this killer strikes again?
Sadly, one question is answered quickly when promising young attorney Elke Sorenstan captures the killer’s deadly attention and becomes the fifth victim. All signs say the killer is escalating—and that can mean only one thing:  the killer is bound to strike again, and soon.  With the stakes mounting and every tick of the clock marking that fine line between life and death, Al Warner doggedly pursues the ruthless killer before another victim falls prey. Warner’s worst fears are realized when newly-minted Realtor Shelly Weitz finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Al Warner will have to act fast: the clock is ticking in this deadly game…and Shelly Weitz is dangerously close to dancing with the devil himself—a dance that will surely be her last.  But as Detective Warner gets closer to stopping the madman behind these murders, he’ll risk losing everything—including his life.
A mesmerizing Miami mystery that ratchets up the suspense from page one, The Prom Dress Killer will leave readers breathless. Resplendent with pulse-pounding action, nail-biting suspense and unexpected twists, turns and surprises, The Prom Dress Killer is an outstanding new mystery that takes readers on a high-octane quest to catch a killer.  George A Bernstein has crafted an eerily real, masterfully- plotted mystery that delivers thrills and chills from beginning to end.
George photo
About the Author: A native of Chicago, George A Bernstein is a retired president of a Chicago manufacturing company. After leaving Chicago for South Florida, George started a world-wide fishing and hunting tour service, Outdoor Safaris. He is a world class fly-fisherman who has held 13 IGFA World Records and authored the definitive book on fly-fishing for pike and musky, Toothy Critters Love Flies.  He and his wife of 57 years, Dolores, live in South Florida. George is also the author of two previous Detective Al Warner suspense novels, Death’s Angel and Born to Die. He is currently at work on the next Detective Al Warner novel, as yet unnamed.
 www.suspenseguy.com / http://facebook.com/georgeabernstein                                 https://plus.google.com/114243818981488647845/ /                             http://twitter.com/georgebernstein

First Chapter Reveal: Tell on You by Freda Hansburg

Tell On YouTitle: TELL ON YOU
Author: Freda Hansburg
Publisher: Micro Publishing Media
Pages: 248
Genre: Thriller

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

PURCHASE YOUR COPY:

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First Chapter:

“ALL RIGHT, LADIES!”

Jeremy Barrett clapped to get the attention of his second period Advanced Placement English class. When they continued talking, he barked: “Hey!” Eleven pairs of adolescent eyes turned toward him and the buzz of their conversations died down. The Forrest School demanded academic excellence along with the steep tuition. These daughters of wealthy New Jersey bedroom communities mostly rose to the challenge. Jeremy found them a pleasure to teach.

He scanned the room, mentally taking attendance and ticking off today’s borderline violations of the school dress code. Here, a bit of exposed belly or cleavage, there, some serious piercing. He frowned, but not over the wardrobe issues. No one had called in absent today, but someone was missing.

“Anyone know where Heather is?” They were all enmeshed in a tapestry of tweets, texts and posts. If one fell off the cyber trail for more than fifteen minutes it drew the herd’s attention. Cellphones were supposed to be turned off, but there were always a few cheaters. Probably more than a few.

But nobody offered an explanation for Heather’s absence.

Jeremy shrugged off his unease about the missing girl and began his lecture. The Great Gatsby, one of his favorite novels. The latest movie remake, combining 3D and JayZ, had piqued his students’ interest when he’d shown it in class. Personally, Jeremy considered the film an over-the-top, gaudy spectacle that turned Nick Carraway into a derelict and mangled Fitzgerald’s gorgeous prose and dialogue. But his students ate it up.

“So, let’s come back to our discussion of how Fitzgerald used water imagery.” A loud rapping on the open classroom door interrupted. Jeremy looked over to see the principal’s administrative assistant, Mrs. Marvin, wearing a prim suit and a pinched expression.

He scowled at the interruption. “What is it?”

“Mr. Donnelly would like to see you.”

“Now?” Jeremy’s tone bore the outrage of a surgeon interrupted in mid-operation.

Mrs. Marvin looked back at him, stone-faced. “Right away, he said. I’m to stay and monitor your class.”

Her words provoked a chorus of murmurs among his students, which Jeremy put a stop to with a loud “Shhh! Start reading the last three chapters. I’ll be back in a few minutes.”

A prickle of anxiety clenched Jeremy’s stomach as he walked down the hall to the principal’s office. Nothing to do with any childhood memories of disgrace, for Jeremy had been a diligent, rule-abiding student. His peccadilloes –well, transgressions – a recent development. He’d promised himself he’d get his act together. But – Donnelly. What did he know?

The principal rose as Jeremy entered his office.

A room designed to elicit tranquility rather than fear, it boasted a pastoral view of the green athletic field through French doors that led out onto a small balcony. Set on an estate, the Forrest School resembled a plantation more than an institution. Still, as Mr. Donnelly pointed him toward the sofa, Jeremy’s hands felt clammy. He mentally prepared defenses, but kept coming up short.

“Thank you for coming so promptly, Jeremy.” The principal wore a gray pin-striped suit today, dressing the part of CEO. Probably to stay on a par with the parents, many of whom were CEO’s.

“Of course.” Jeremy nodded. “What did you want to see me about?” He winced inwardly. An English teacher, ending a sentence with a preposition.

Mr. Donnelly didn’t appear to notice. He drew up his hands to form a steeple, touching his lower lip. Sunlight from the French doors reflected off his glasses. He looked like a church. A folded piece of paper rested on his lap. “It’s about Heather Lloyd.”

Jeremy drew a breath. Bad, but not the worst. “She’s absent this morning,” he said. “Has something happened?”

“That’s what I’d like to understand.” The principal passed the paper to Jeremy. “I received this email from Heather’s mother this morning.”

Jeremy unfolded the paper and read the message, his mouth turning to dust. Finishing, he looked up at Mr. Donnelly in silence.

“Jeremy,” the principal demanded, “what is this all about?”

 

About the Author

Freda Hansburg

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

Her latest book is the thriller, Tell On You.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

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The Inspiration behind ‘The Art of Making Good Decisions’ by Phil Kimble

I was watching my daughter struggle with a life decision about a college major, and I wondered why it was such a difficult challenge for her, why she couldn’t use decision models I have used in my professional career. On the other hand, I saw in my professional career many instances where the only thing that was considered was the metrics of the choices, and wondered why the people involved couldn’t be more intuitive. On both sides of the coin, it appeared that way too much time and emotion was invested in the struggle of a decision because of their narrow approaches. If there was a way both the subjective and the objective could be wrapped together in the decision process, such an approach would be beneficial to both the individual and the organization. The quantitative principles in the book are simplified and easy for the subjective person to apply, and the subjective principles are flags for even the most rigid organization. Hopefully both will benefit.

Cover

ABOUT THE BOOK

Feeling stumped, stymied, or stupefied by a big (or small) decision? A new book, The Art of Making Good Decisions takes the guesswork out of common decision-making quandaries and explains how to make good, solid, choices—easily, quickly, and consistently.

Sources estimate that an individual makes more than 30,000 conscious decisions each day.  While most decisions are relatively minor—researchers at Cornell University suggest that persons typically make over 200 decisions a day on food alone—decisions, even the small ones, matter.  Consequently, being able to make consistently good, solid decisions is vitally important to our well-being, our livelihood, and our happiness.

Written by Atlanta area resident Philip Kimble, The Art of Making Good Decisions, explains how—and why—to make good decisions.  A groundbreaking book filled with fascinating insights, tips, tricks and techniques, The Art of Making Good Decisions sheds light on such topics as:  the three driving elements to any decision; elements of the decision model sequence; the key component behind bad decisions; how to recognize a good decision; what happens when decisions need to be tweaked—aka zigging and zagging;  becoming a more confident decision maker; and other important topics. Moreover, The Art of Making Good Decisions is filled with step-by-step examples, sage advice, and anecdotes.

So the next time you find yourself frustrated, flummoxed, or frazzled when facing a decision, take heart:  by applying the principles outlined in The Art of Making Good Decisions, you can begin your transition from inaction to decisiveness and bring sense and clarity to choices. Now that’s a good decision.

Find out more on Amazon

phil

Philip Kimble lives in the Atlanta area with his wife Julie.

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