Thursday, October 31, 2019

Discovering The Covering by Shamicka Toney

Today is Halloween and all the ghosts, goblins, Jokers, princesses and the likes will be coming knocking on our doors. Yea! That is my favorite part seeing all the kids dressed up and families having a great night of fun. With that, there comes warnings -- watch for children with specific color buckets as they alert you as to whether they can have peanuts or allergic to chocolate. They also indicate a special needs child who might have autism. Be mindful of these and help keep all children safe.


Dr. Carol Michaels, founder, of Absolute Author Publishing House, and I are proud to have our latest author, Shamicka C. Toney join us and our other authors. Her book, "Discovering the Covering" is very impressive as a debut novel.

About the Book

While celebrating the biggest acquittal in her firm's history, Amia's phone rings. The sobbing on the other line meant life - as she'd known it - was about to change forever. Her faith is tested like never before as she embarks on an unexpected rescue mission.

At the same time, a family secret surfaces and threatens to destroy her entire world.

The book is available on Amazon right now and soon will be available on Barnes and Noble and Ingram Sparks..

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Shamicka C. Toney

Discovering The Covering


Tell your readers a little about yourself, where you grew up, where you live now, where you went to school etc. Let them get to know the personal you.

I have been married for sixteen years and get to enjoy three children though I've only given birth to one child (I got two amazing bonuses when I married my awesome husband). I am the only trace of estrogen in my testosterone-infused abode.

My love for writing started in my early teens when I began receiving regular accolades from teachers for my writing and creativity. I would even write short stories in my free time or when I was bored. There was and still is something alluring about creating characters and spinning their lives into multiple plots.

I am the oldest of three children. My father was in the ARMY, so we lived in multiple states and spent six years in Germany while growing up. While I hated making friends and leaving them less than three years later, I wouldn't trade my upbringing for anything. Having experienced multiple cultures, both domestic and abroad has helped shape me. Because we traveled so often, my sister, brother, and I had to meet new people and make friends regularly, and I got really good at it. As a result, I am one of the most conversational people you'll ever meet. My mom used to (and probably still does) say that I would talk to the wall if it stands there long enough. Another interesting thing about being a military brat is whenever I'm asked where I'm from, my response always starts something like, "Well ummm. . . or How much time do you have?"

I'm living proof that Multiple Sclerosis affects sexy people and I have been fighting this disease for just over ten years. There have been times when I've been unable to walk, times when I've been unable to see, and times when it feels like someone's taking a blow torch to my left shoulder, arm, and foot. There is also the majority of the time when I'm fine and the sun couldn't shine any brighter. Because of this condition, I have learned to appreciate the beauty in every day.

When I retire, my plan is to live in a log cabin by the lake with a pole in the water and exploring the mountains in my Jeep Wrangler sans doors roof. Please note, my cabin will have Berber carpet, granite counters and stainless steel appliances - just saying.

I'm a woman of faith who has seen the hand of God in my and my family's lives. There is no question that I am beyond blessed. I have a cup-half-full disposition because of His love, favor, and grace. There is always a silver lining. No matter what the situation, there is always something to be grateful and to give praise for.

What inspired you to author this book?

This story came to me while I was in the shower one evening in 2003. I didn't start writing until 2005 when I had a dream about it. I immediately fell in love with the two main characters. They were people whom you wanted to know, whom you cared about. They had stories to tell that people could relate to and as I kept building out the story, I started to feel that these characters and their lives could be testimonies to people around the world.

It took me sixteen years to write this story because life got in the way. While I don't normally do New Year's Resolutions, I did for 2019. I promised myself that this year, I would conquer my fears. I would finish this book and put it out there, and whatever happens, will happen.

Even though I allowed years to go by while writing this book, I couldn't stop thinking about these characters and their contributions to the lives of everyone who gets to know them. I know that people will see themselves or someone that they know in this book. It's a story of faith, love, forgiveness, and redemption.

This book is infused with perfectly imperfect people. It is full of juicy drama, shady suspense, and forbidden love - all of which is dipped repeatedly in multiple layers of delicious milk chocolate faith.

Where did you get the inspiration for your book’s cover?

I wanted to show the main character, Amia, basking in the joy of her blessings. Even though life launched curveballs her way, she still exudes this peace and happiness. The blurry 'bubbles' bring additional inspiration. I like to think that this is indicative of Christ, who is ever-present in our lives and is definitely by Amia's side. I also love that we don't see her full face. I want the reader to imagine this woman and also to see themselves wrapped in that sweater with the sun shining on their faces.

Who has been the most significant influence on you personally and as a writer?

My 12th grade English teacher, Ms. Williams had the most significant influence on me as a writer. She called me a brilliant writer and read excerpts of one of my papers to the entire class. She told me that I should consider writing in the future because I was really good at it. While it took me over twenty years to publish my first book, I have never forgotten Ms. Williams' words.

To every teacher, you have the power to change the world.

What were your struggles or obstacles you had to overcome to get this book written?

Mentally - Fear and self-doubt were the biggest challenges. Yes, Christians who love God still face fears and doubts. Satan doesn't leave you alone because you're saved. In fact, he often tries to hit harder. I had all of the fears and doubts: "What if it's not good? What if no one is interested in your book? What if you're wasting your and everyone else's time."

Personally - I sprinkled pieces of myself and my personal life into several characters and that level of personal exposure is sometimes scary. That said, many of the characters have more dimension because I could paint their experiences more vividly.

Physically - I had several flares of MS over the years. During many of these periods, the writing was impossible.

Tell your readers about your book.

I am so excited to introduce Discovering the Covering. It's the story of a young college grad who has just begun her dream career. She's excelling at her job, being showered with awards, and is one of the most desirable women in Pittsburgh. At the height of her short, decorated career, she gets a call that flips her world on its ear. Her faith is tested as she engages in the fight of her life. At the same time, an inconspicuously hidden secret changes everything she knows about herself and her perfect family.

Who is your target audience, and why?

My target audience is women, men, and young adults in general. I think African-Americans especially will gravitate towards this book because they will see themselves or someone they know in these characters. Everyone, regardless of race and gender will cheer for and be touched by these characters. You know these 'people'. They're your friends, relatives and family members.

The Genre's are Drama, Christian, and Romance. I have weaved vast amounts of faith throughout this book, so there is a wide-spread religious appeal. One thing to note about Discovering The Covering is that there are real-world issues portrayed. There are imperfect people who sometimes do things that imperfect people do. There are bad criminals who do things that bad criminals do. This is not the smell the roses on every page that you find in most Christian books, and that puts Discovering The Covering in a lane of its own.

What do you consider your greatest success in life?

Besides being chosen to be mom and stepmom to my beautiful boys and being able to influence their development into the men they are today and being saved by Grace, I would say my greatest success thus far comes from conquering my fears.

This year, I stepped off of a building and rappelled all the way down. I underwent a personal evolution during that 13-story descent. Standing backward on the edge of that building, I was utterly petrified. As I began to scale its surface, my persona moved from sheer terror and regret to afraid and uncertain. That was followed by comfort and confidence. By the time my feet touched the ground, I was exuberant and invincible.

I have God in my corner, and I have scaled a 13-story building. I can literally do anything.

What one unique thing sets you apart from other writers in your genre?

I have had some amazing life experiences as well as some that I'd rather forget, but all of these have influenced my writing. I've learned to laugh at myself and paint pictures with words. I've learned to laugh at myself while painting pictures with words. I'm gutsy; I'm creative. I'm a sponge who is ready to share all of the blessings I've been blessed within my life.

The Hollywood Good Girl! Extra Extra Read All About Her

Today's blog is very exciting because I get to talk about a very funny and incredible person and her new book PROVERBS 32 WOMAN by Kerri Pomarolli. I have talked a lot with Kerri and she is so funny. I have also watched her videos. It's not often when you see a face or a picture of somebody and you go, wait! I think I know her. With Kerri, you might do it because she has been on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno twenty-nine times, on General Hospital and Comedy Central. I hope you enjoy her interview and get to know her. Also, be sure to sign up to her blog at 

Tell your readers a little about yourself, where you grew up, where you live now, where you went to school etc. Let them get to know the personal you.

I grew up in Detroit Michigan, and I always wanted to be a performer. I started performing in dance in musicals at a young age and always had a dream of moving to Hollywood. After I graduated from the University of Michigan, with a degree in musical theater, and had been working professionally throughout my childhood. My parents and I loaded up the Mini Van and drove to Los Angeles. They dropped me off and I started a career in acting in film and television. It was an incredible journey, and somewhere in my mid-twenties, I decided I wanted to write my 1st memoir and turn it into a book. It was based upon my diaries and my love life relationships. It ended up getting published by Zondervan Publishing which led to me writing several more books. I was very blessed to be working in Hollywood on The Tonight Show, Comedy Central, and General Hospital, but I always continued to have the love for writing and creating material. Thirteen years ago, I started a career in stand up comedy, and I have been on that roller coaster ever since. I am an out of the closet Christian living in Hollywood, and a lot of my work is standing up for good moral projects that are family-friendly.

What inspired you to write this book?

I've been joking in my stand up comedy act for many years and felt that I could never measure up to the Proverbs 31 woman who is mentioned in the Bible; so I created Proverbs32 Woman for women who need more grace and laughter in their life. It's not your typical faith book. I ripped the mask of perfection right off. #hotmess4Jesus.

Where did you get the inspiration for your book’s cover?

My publisher wanted something that would be a little bit jarring and catch the reader's off guard. At first, I thought it was quite shocking, but I've grown to love it.


Who has been the most significant influence on you personally and as a writer?

I am really excited to have a wonderful writing partner whom I get to create movies with for the Hallmark Channel. Her name is Claire Lee. She has been an inspiration to me for many years to never give up on my dreams, and keep pursuing new challenges.

What were your struggles or obstacles you had to overcome to get this book written?

I am really grateful to have Harvest House Publishers that were willing to take a chance on a stand-up comedian from Hollywood rating a faith-filled book that is very out of the box. All other publishers might not have been willing to take the chance. These guys let me write the book unfiltered and I believe that is going to bring hope and grace to a lot of readers.

Tell your readers about your book.

Proverbs 32 Woman and Proverbs 32 Woman Devotional are both launching in November of this year. One of them is a devotional with sixty small chapters. The other one is a book filled with thirteen chapters of stories from my life and my moments of grace and laughter. It is not a comedy book at all; I poured my heart and soul into these stories. Each chapter has questions for reflection, and I hope will guide the reader into a deeper relationship with God and to become more thoughtful about their journey.

Who is your target audience and why?

I hope that women of all ages will read this book. I wrote it from a Christian perspective, but it is not legalistic or judgemental. I hope people from all different faiths might enjoy my stories and cause them to think about their journey and faith differently.

If you were going to give one reason for anyone looking at your book to read, why should they buy it?

Because if you need a good belly laugh, then anyone who reads this book, will see someone who is more dysfunctional than you!

What do you consider your greatest success in life?

I consider my greatest achievement in life to be raising two strong self-assured young women in today's society.

Everyone has life lessons to learn, tell your readers one or two of yours and how they make you the person you are today.

I've had to learn the lesson that nobody is going to be a bigger cheerleader for yourself then you are. We can't just sit around and wait for somebody else to make our dreams happen. We have to seize own opportunities and have faith in ourselves that we are worthy of success. I wrote my first book when I was twenty-six-years-old using a pad of paper, and then I self-published and hired a publicist. I couldn't afford it at the time, but I took a chance. Within one year of hiring that publicist, I had a book deal from the largest Christian publisher in the world. 

I've also learned that life is going to throw you some major curve balls and you are going to be a member of a lot of clubs that you never wanted to be a member of, period. I never wanted to be a member of the single mom's club, but I have learned invaluable lessons. I now feel that I can speak with empathy for women who have gone through a divorce or have become single moms, and I have a connection with them that I would never have of had before. I choose to use all the bad things in my life for the greater good in the long run.

What one unique thing sets you apart from other writers in your genre?

Well, I'm a professional stand up comedian, so I would like to say that I might consider myself to be pretty funny???

Tell your readers anything else you want to share.

I hope this is a book that groups of women could read together. I can see it used in a Bible study group or a homegroup. I hope this is a book that can stir some excellent conversations.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Behavioral Capitalism - A New Form of Domination?

Behavioral Capitalism - A New Form of Domination?
Interview with Andreas Herteux, the founder of the Erich von Werner Society on the functioning and increasing influence of Behavioral Capitalism, which he researched, analyzed and identified.


Mr. Herteux, you have described a new type of capitalism. How would you describe it in a few words?
Behavioral Capitalism is a variant of capitalism in which human behavior becomes the central factor for the production and provision of goods and services.

Sounds very abstract at first.
This is true, and it also makes it very difficult to recognize Behavioral Capitalism at all. Actually, it's not that hard. Let's think of a baker and his buns. It should be clear to all of us what raw materials he will need for the production process. For our buns, maybe flour, water, yeast, and some salt. 

Let's jump from the bakery to the Internet. Most of us have already encountered personalized advertising. For example, we have been looking for a holiday in the mountains and suddenly we are confronted with emails, banner ads and social media reports on the subject. However, this personalized advertising can only be addressed to us if our behavior, in this case the search query, has been evaluated beforehand. All the services, advertisements, suggestions for friendship - all these rolls were baked from one dough: our behavior that was previously open, concealed or skimmed off in dialogue and then evaluated, which means that this raw material was transformed into prognosis and satisfaction products in a metaphorical behavioral factory in order to get something individual for us from the metaphorical oven.

If you look at it from the point of view, is behavior the flour of Internet companies?
Right, human behavior is, therefore, obviously a usable raw material, and this raw material has developed through technological progress into a production factor, which has led to entirely new business models, which in the meantime have a massive influence on economic, political and social life. It would be fatal to speak of just one business model here because its power is far too great for that. Rather, it is a new variation of capitalism: Behavioral Capitalism.

Is the use of human behavior really a new phenomenon?
Of course, human behavior has always been an essential factor and raw material. Already alone for the areas of sales and marketing, but also as raw material. Let us just think here of the insurance industry, which had already skimmed "behavior" from customers long before the modern age and thus designed new products and optimized old ones. In this industry, this raw material has always been more and more a primary basis for business. By the way, also in politics or, if you like it historically, in the sale of indulgences.
However, technical progress has almost infinitely increased the possibility of behavioral skimming, and they no longer need a human being for evaluation, but, to put it simply, only the learning machine. Just two numbers to underline this; Google alone had about 3.8 million searches by 2017 and Youtube 4.1 million video clicks. Per-minute. You can calculate approximately how many behavioral data can be skimmed off in one day, and for the most part a product or service can even be produced and offered immediately, even if it is only the answer to a search query.

My insurance agent can only dream of such amounts of data.
Insurance companies are much better positioned today, but you can see the difference in the right place. Only a change of times, the elements of which also include the rapid and dynamic development of technology and the conditioning of man to its use, which would be described as an irritant society, whereby we do not want to drift into psychology, have turned a raw material into a production factor. So today we can speak of Behavioral Capitalism.

Is there a parallel for such a development?

Yes, according to a similar principle, financial capitalism has outgrown classical capitalism. Although capital has always been an economic factor of production, it was only much too late to realize that it had led as an independent element to a new variety of capitalism. Even today, there are major problems in recognizing and correctly interpreting its mechanisms. That's why he can act a little under the radar. Here there is a parallel to Behavioral Capitalism.

Sohsana Zuboff also warns of the dangers of such a development, although she does not use the term "Behavioral Capitalism" that you coined, but speaks of surveillance capitalism.
Yes, and I appreciate her meticulous and critical work very much, but her concept of surveillance capitalism has little in common with the model of Behavioral Capitalism. Mrs. Zuboff sees her surveillance capitalism, and the word already betrays this, as something fundamentally negative and man-made, which a few people a few years ago came up with at Google to consciously gain power, wealth and influence. For Behavioral Capitalism, on the other hand, development is a logical consequence of capitalism and is in continuity. It is not a degeneration, as she calls it, but the water simply flows on. Companies like Google emerged from this river and not outside it somewhere on the dry bank.
Nevertheless, both of you were faced with the dangers.
It is true; however, surveillance capitalism views the development exclusively negatively. He wants to warn, wants to be subjective, and not necessarily show a model as a representation of reality. Behavioral Capitalism wants exactly that, therefore weighs up opportunities and risks and strives for a neutral presentation of general mechanisms. Of course, he also sees the possibilities of manipulation, but also the other side. Just think of our example of search queries. You will also receive an answer from Google & Co., and Youtube will show you the desired video. Personalized content does not have to be fundamentally bad, even if it is concealed because with embedding it may even be possible to identify needs that people would never have discovered without the new technology. Just take the example of a holiday in the mountains. Perhaps the learning machine works out for you that mountaineering has always been your passion? Would that be bad if you discovered such an inner need?
On the downside, there is of course, also the possibility of manipulation. We must defend ourselves against them, but we must not deceive ourselves, as much as we want to. Larger sections of the population, i.e. not a few milieus, will gladly exchange part of their freedom for an embedding that determines their needs and satisfies them. Perhaps some homo stimulus even gets the possibilities of self-development for the first time. That sounds frightening to some ears, but it will be reality. But resignation would be the wrong reaction. Rather, reality should encourage us to make it clear to everyone that they do not have to choose: embedding or freedom, but can have both. But there are not even any signs of this -- a very dangerous situation.

How should one confront the dangers of Behavioral Capitalism?
First of all by recognizing them and placing them in the right context. Behavioral Capitalism, together with the stimulus society, will trigger an era of collective individualism, in which the process of individualization will, however, be hampered by milieu struggles. Fundamental points with which we at the Erich von Werner Society deal in-depth because here is also the cause of the difficult social situation to see and not in obsolete explanatory models from the previous century such as the outdated left-right scheme.
This and the fact that we are on the threshold of a new era that will radically change the international balance of power in the coming decades must be realized and accepted. Something's moving. Even if we were to recognize this, we would need ideas and here we have unfortunately become very unimaginative or capitulate to a complex world and so many interrelationships, so we need a comprehensive solution that can solve all these problems. With the model of alternative hegemony (AH model) we have presented such a model that could correct capitalism and meet the great challenges of our time. With it, we can transform capitalism into a value market economy.
Change for the better is, therefore possible. All it takes is courage.

This interview is an excerpt from the book "First Foundations of Behavioral Capitalism: A New Variety of Capitalism Gains Power and Influence" (ISBN 978-3981900675) by Andreas Herteux. It is available everywhere. For further information, please visit the official presence of the Erich von Werner Society ( or that of the author (  

A world of change enables a new variety of capitalism to gain more and more power and influence. Through technological development, capitalism is increasingly influencing social, political, economic and individual life without its mechanisms having been clearly identified so far. This gap closes the Model of Behavioral Capitalism, which gives the approximate a structure that should enable a general discussion. This monograph consists of previous journalistic and scientific publications and supplements them with parts of the discussion.