Saturday, April 13, 2019

Bri McKay "The Grey World: Understanding Bipolar Disorder"

APRIL 13, 2019


I am getting very excited about traveling to California on Monday and can't wait to meet up with everyone. As a reminder, I will be hosting a "Meet and Greet" on April 17, 2019, at the Sheraton Park Resort. Please come and say hello. I will be giving away free autographed copies of several of my books. If you already own one of my books and you want me to autograph them, I am happy to do so. See details below.

Bri McKay "The Grey World: Understanding Bipolar Disorder" 

Today's author interview is of particular interest to me as I have friends and family members who suffer from Bipolar Disorder. This book gives clarity as to how they suffer and is an honest and straightforward account. Please take the time to read this interview from author Bri McKay and her book Bri McKay "The Grey World: Understanding Bipolar Disorder." 

Buy Now
Name of Book: The Grey World: Understanding Bipolar Disorder
Year Published: 2018
Publisher: self-published
Pinterest: b_sho3s
Pinterest: Bri McKay

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.

My legal name is Brittney Kay Shoemaker. I took the name Bri in 5th grade because there were so many Brittney’s in my class. I wanted a way to stand out. Now my parents and siblings are the only people who call me Brittney anymore. I was born on the Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, MS. I only lived in Mississippi for six months and grew up in Arlington, Tx. I spent all of my school years in the Kennedale ISD; a small town outside of Arlington. I’m 25 years old (Jan 26 and an Aquarius for anyone interested) and about to move to Dallas.

I have a huge passion for music and performing. I frequent the musical theatre, film, and music industry. Technically I started writing when I was about 13 years old in the form of lyrics. I talk more about this in the book. I thrive on creativity and adventure; it feeds my soul.

What inspired you to write this book?

Being Bipolar myself and being diagnosed at such a young age, the illness has become a critical piece in shaping who I am, my experiences and how they are handled. When another family member was diagnosed a couple of years ago, that part of my family had a hard time understanding and coping with what to do and how to move forward. Hearing about their feelings and confusion got me thinking. I have experience from over half my life. Why not write a book answering the big questions and use my story to help others. So basically, it started out as I wanted to help my family understand and have some hope, and then it turned into a much bigger initiative: wanting to bring awareness and hope to the world. It was a very healing experience for me.

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

When I came up with the title of the book, the cover is what instantly popped up in my head. It’s all symbolism. The tree represents life. The split between color and black and white represents the polars. The color represents the good days where everything seems bright and okay in the world. The grey (hints the title of the book) is the hard depressive days where the illness takes its toll.
My father has his foot in the photography industry, and he was gracious enough to lend his skills in making the cover come to life so magnificently. For more of his work you can follow him on Facebook and Instagram: Shoemaker Photography.

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

As a writer, all the biographies and self-help writers are a huge influence. No one in particular honestly, but it’s the complete opposite when it comes to my songwriting. I won't dive into that though, because that could take a while ;)

Personally, my grandmother is my most significant influence. She helped raise me when I was younger and we’ve had such a close bond. Her and my grandfather have always been so supportive of my passions and my career. Their love, encouragement, support, and everything else in between are diamonds in my treasure chest.

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

My biggest obstacle in almost everything I do is myself. I had to deal with insecurity about my writing skills, and if anybody really cared about what I had to say. I had to make sure the book didn’t come across as “all about me.” Also, this book is super personal and has information and experiences that one usually doesn’t talk about in everyday conversation. Getting through that and writing openly and honestly was a process all on its own. It’s still uncomfortable sometimes to know that such personal information including my flaws, bad decisions, and things that I’m not proud of are out there for anyone and everyone to know.

I had to take a step back and get out of my own way. This book was written to help people and as soon as I let that sink in, I knew no matter how scared or apprehensive I was, I had to write it AND get it out in front of the public. No matter what my family or friends would think of me or if I was going to be judged, this book needed to be written and shared.
Looking back, the whole process helped me grow in ways I never thought possible. Not only will it help the community but it helped me too. I found bravery and courage that had been buried deep.

Tell your readers about your book.

“The Grey World” is an educational, inspirational, and biographical book all in one. The book goes through the need-to-knows about Bipolar, debunks myths, and has my personal touch immersed within. People should be able to walk away with a better understanding of Bipolar and how it affects those who have it. It is short but filled with valuable information and some insight you can’t get just from googling it.

Who is your target audience and why?

As I wrote and reviewed the finished product, I realized that yes, this book is about Bipolar Disorder and my experience with it but, the content inside is relevant to everyone. The target audience is people with experience with Bipolar, but the “coping” and “loved ones” section of the book are great for all mental illnesses. The short answer, I guess, would be people with or touched by mental illness.

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

Look, if you’re looking into this book- just buy it. If you don’t suffer or know anyone with the disease, this book is still relevant to you. It is a book meant for inspiration and motivation. Not tooting my own horn, but the lessons and experiences I’ve lived through are great lessons for anyone in a tough spot looking to make things better. This book is so much more than just another book talking about Bipolar.

What do you consider your greatest success in life?

My greatest success in life is growing from a pessimistic, insecure, scared human being into a vibrant, positive source of encouragement. I aspire to be a light for people in hard times. That was a difficult journey of transformation and the journey is not over, but ultimately that is what I am most proud of.

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

My hardest life lessons are in the book. They are not spelled out for you perse, but how I got to learn those lessons are there.

One of them is that you absolutely cannot lose yourself and who you are in a relationship. I went through some significant growing pains to learn that one.

Another major lesson I had to learn (that’s not in the book) was financed. If you had met me a few years ago, you would know I was not as financially savvy as I am now. 

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

My book is easy to read, follow, and understand. Most books on Bipolar that I have come across are written by experts: doctors, therapists, and the like. I don’t have a degree in psychiatry or medicine. I’m not using a bunch of terms that look like a foreign language. I’m not watching and writing my observations. I’m living it. I live with and around this illness every day, and that’s why this book is so valuable. It’s an inside look into my life, and how I think woven into the information people need to know about Bipolar.

Tell your readers anything else you want to share.

This book is very near and dear to my heart. It’s my first one after all, and it’s over a subject that means so much to me. I love hearing feedback so feel free to follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. and join me on this journey of stopping the stigma.

 Subscribe today for a chance to win KRONOS RISING. Next week the winners will be announced. 



Listen to an Excerpt

Friday, April 12, 2019

SS Cohentown and "Ride of my Life"

April 12, 2019

Have you ever had so much on your plate you thought your head would spin out of control? That is how I felt this week as I prepared for a Crawfish Bowl scheduled for tomorrow. I spent days working in the yard and getting it "Pool Fun" ready which also included pressure washing and scrubbing all of the patio furniture.

Wow! Thank heavens my sister, Caylen, came down for a couple of days to help not only on the inside getting everything clean but also on the outside. I owe her one. Just as we were about to finish up the kitchen we set the oven on fire. How, you might be asking? I stored several large pans in the bottom over. My sister didn't know it and pre-heated the oven to cook. Unfortunately, somehow there was also a plastic tray in there that once the over got hot exploded inside the oven and continued to drip creating more flames. Flames sprouted sending smoke and black ashes everywhere. It was a huge fire shooting out of my oven. It took me, my sister, and my husband to put out the fire. Praise God that my husband always maintains a fire extinguisher and our smoke alarms because both came in handy.

After we put out the fire, we had to really clean the house again, fumigate it with air purifiers to get the smoke smell out and I used a steamer to steam clean all the cabinets in the kitchen. Once the oven cooled we expected a disaster and knew we would have to purchase a new oven. But, wait. The plastic that dripped turned brittle like glass and we were able to lift it out. Of course, I had to redo Windexing everything and use furniture polish on the wood in the living area again doubling my workload.

We survived, the house is fine and tomorrow we party. I guess the moral of the story is to make sure you change your batteries in your smoke detectors, keep your fire extinguisher updated and don't store plastic items in your oven.


The deadline to enter Max Hawthorne's books is fast approaching. Enter today for a chance to win Kronos Rising. I had the opportunity to read Diablo while I was at the beach which made me not to want to get into the ocean -- think Jaws. If you want an exciting read, I recommend this saga series.

Today I am introducing SS Cohentown and her book Ride of My Life published by Sarrah PublishersBefore you read about this fabulous author, I am providing you the book trailer to view -- talk about hot, steamy and sexy, this book has it all. Classified as urban fiction, you won't be disappointed.


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 hail from Dallas, Texas. I write in my spare time and am working on other stories. One is nearly completed called... Philadelphian Love. It’s a sweet M/M/F....feel free to email me to keep me on my toes with completing it!

Our Blog will be up soon so looking forward to recommendations and requests if any. I do enjoy community work, reading, and speaking engagements.

What inspired you to author this book?

I authored this book while undergoing tremendous monetary loss -- post car accident. Moreover, I was trying to deal with failing health issues. It was a balm to my soul. It helped me to see the beauty in all people while being “temporarily displaced.” Most would call it being homeless.

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

I searched through countless pictures for the perfect face that would describe the protagonist. Until... I found THE one! This is the amazing Zev Kraft! It encompasses the exact likeness of the character!

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

Gene Roddenberry. Tolkien...and the street guru Donald Goines. He was a raw, unadulterated, and Urban literary genius! His stories in its simplicity kept me captivated for hours as a youth!

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

There was a time when I didn’t know how things would work out for me….and yet I knew they would. I always had my tablet with me! If I couldn’t do anything. I knew I could write, and the main objective was to tell the story! Writing was my rock! Along with spiritual grounding and prayers of course...but outside of that, writing kept me focused.

Tell your readers about your book.

What happens when a group of imperfect people that regularly take the local Dansbury public transit, are confronted with forces that can make them stronger or destroy their unblemished town?

As an up-and-coming community supporter, you've got what you worked so long and diligently for. You are successful. Well-loved. Maybe, have a bit of problem with the socializing scene, --but hey, at least you are “highly functional.”

Then one "normal" day... Changes that you didn't initiate will affect the lives of you and your friends and as well. And, you know how much you hate that. Zev Kraft was just that man. He was ready to "settle down" and smell his roses. A bit of a loner but that's not a crime. His hobby turned business was what he needed at this moment in his life. That and the love of his quirky friends. Yes, Zev Kraft, the awesome florist that he was, had everything that he needed. Or so he thought.

Who is your target audience and why?

Urban Fiction is my style. However, I wanted my readers to get more than crime and street jargon. I had a challenging time writing urban vernacular... It amazed me how my “White” colleagues had to assist me with the correct terms and spellings. And, I am so thankful for their support. Back to my target audience... it is for a person that can see with their soul and not their eyes. That can see what is not obvious; like my situation. Though I was “homeless” many didn’t know or see me that way. I speak seven languages, am educated somewhat, and dress in a conservative approach. However, you would have never guessed I went from living in a luxury apartment to living in a boarding house. So, this story is for those who want to see beyond the obvious. If you are a spiritual person or love mystical wisdom, there is something extra for you on the supplemental pages!

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

This book gives you... hope for something better. To be the best YOU...and to be happy with the best version of yourself.

What do you consider your greatest success in life?

That I realize just how precious EVERY HUMAN LIFE is. Whether I agree with them or not.

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 would never have thought I would write a M/M book. I tried to make the characters one way... and the timing or scenery... somethings write themselves. When you are flying by the seat of your pants... you may be in for an adventure of a lifetime. Coloring within the lines may be safe, but it can also be boring! Ask your heart, is it okay that I expand my creativity? Can I live with the fallout if I do? Am I strong enough to know I did the right thing?

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

My stories are simpler...but descriptive. I want the reader to be able to see what I envision and to follow along easily. If they can do this, then I have done my job. This story is entertaining yes...but also, I am happy to say that this is also for nonreaders! You should be able to finish this novel in a month reading just a chapter a day.

Tell your readers anything else you want to share.

The city of Dallas has asked me to convert this story into a play. Actors and Actresses are currently being sought and conceptual design of the sets have been sent to the Director. I am currently writing a G rated version of Ride of My Life book as a 2-Act Play.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Jakub Tencl Author Interview

April 10, 2019

Only one week left until I get to meet and greet my friends and fans in California. It has been years since I have been to this beautiful state and I look forward to going to the theme parks, restaurants, and Venice Beach. However, this trip isn't all fun and games as I will be interviewed for a premiere television show by NBC. I also will be visiting with a very dear friend of mine that is in need of unconditional support.



I'd like to introduce to my readers Jakub Tencl, by day a hypnotherapist, and by night an author. I think you'll find his book The Mystery of Life: You are the light, and that's indestructible truth incredibly interesting.

Author Name: Jakub Tencl

Name of Book: The Mystery of Life: You are the light, and that's indestructible truth
Year Published: June 15th, 2015
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

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.

Well, I grew up in the heart of Prague, its oldest city part. It was remarkable how I was walking through my life. Someone could say that it was beyond all expectations in terms of my experiences and how things eventually have resulted. I give you an example, as a child I didn't have a good time at the school, potentially such experience was logically a good reason for developing the depression instead I chose to look for refuge. Also, as if that was a miracle, next to my basic school was a church. I had never thought that I would go inside, but that changed when I needed the refuge. So I went inside and limitless peace and tranquillity have immersed into me so deep. I won't forget that moment; it was really strong.

My real studying had started when I moved to London. I did not have an idea of what was waiting for me. However, it was an invaluable experience to learn a great diversity of the new environment. Somehow everything was more clear to me than ever. So I decided to start my formal education. A lot has been done. My alma mater has become the Hypnosis Motivation Institute in Los Angeles, but before this, I was studying psychology and hypnosis.

At the same time I happened to continue with my meditation practice and workshops, it is amazing to see how people are open-minded. As I wrote in my book, ultimately I can say that I achieved my dreams. All that remains is that I want to fulfill the mission that I discovered in my spiritual searching.

What inspired you to write this book?

I always wanted to write since I was in basic school. The book came actually spontaneously, I felt that I have to do that. As if this book was missing in this space. I felt that this is a logical step. In my view inspiration is in every moment, included in every particle. There exists source for that, imagine that you're connected with such source. The source that is actually within. Then we don't need inspiration, because we are part of the stream of neverending inspiration.

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

I wanted the expression of the mystery. Night reminds me of when I was exercising Tai-Chi. Over me was a clear sky with stars and a full moon on the horizon. As if I have entered the endless moment. The tree is representing a lot, some say the connection between earth and sky, that means to hold the balance. Some say that the tree is representing life. My father was in love with trees, and he saw something remarkable on them. So do I.

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

Many personalities influenced me. For instance, my father taught me always to be curious and always ask. I had with my father great moments when we discussed and tried to look into the subject more in-depth. Furthermore, among my influences was also my experience when I was writing for the local newspaper, where I had a mentor who helped me with my writing.

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

It was my first book in which I intended to write more also with a set structure. The problem seemed to be was to stay in my writing. Usually, this is what hard to overcome for those who intend to write a book. I had a break between my writing, but as usual, I set that as my goal. With the support of my family and friends, I was able to finish it. So I am grateful! The following books were more comfortable to write. It was wonderful, how much I learned about writing from other mentors. I was determined to finish this book.

Tell your readers about your book.

The book is capturing in the form of autobiography the path of searching the enlightenment. If you think about the subtitle so there you can find obvious truth about enlightenment. The experiences and views that led to spiritual recognition are included in this book. I consider this book as my legacy to those who are searching.

Who is your target audience and why?

This book is for those who are looking for higher sensitivity in life. To everyone who feels lost, this book may be of help.

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

I already heard from readers that this book is written in the lightweight form, easy to read. However, also that brings inspiration, every reader will be able to find something enrich. So for those who like to think, there is also space.

What do you consider your greatest success in life?

I consider between my greater successes that had an impact on my life was the achievement of long term specifically designed meditations and graduation at my alma mater.

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

As I said, I didn't have a good time in school. That has changed, and due to this experience, I see now that my life has been enriched. I understand the situation of those who are in a similar condition. Also with my education, I can help.

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

I would say that the way how are reached a new perspective is a unique thing.


Design Marketing Materials

Now that you have your launch date you must design and create your marketing tools. I use Art Publishing Pro to design my ads after I purchase a gig on Fiverr that provides me mock-up cover ads. I buy one hundred different ones because from the moment I receive them I post one a day to my social media accounts announcing the launch of my new book.
   What you have done is announced the pre-launch date but be advised that Amazon doesn’t allow you to start the actual pre-orders until three months before publication. I pre-launch my book on Amazon for pre-sales. I modify the ads by placing my targeting wording on them to announce the launch, the pre-sale, exclusive contests, or giveaways, and more. I do this because I have three months of sales before the book goes live. The day it goes live, all pre-sales count as sales on launch day, and this boosts my book to the top. That is why it is important not to wait too long before offering your book for pre-sale.
   When you have finished that, it is time to either create or update your author profiles and biographies on your social media accounts. Masterfully write your bio as exciting as you can. Use this bio to brand yourself. It goes on your website, in your book, and on your author social media websites.
   Here is a list of author pages you should create and maintain for the rest of your author days.

·         Facebook Business Page for Book
·         Author Facebook Page
·         Goodreads Author Profile
·         Amazon Author Profile
·         Website Author Page
·         BookBub Author Page
·         Netgalley
·         Pinterest
·         Linkedin
·         Instagram
·         YouTube

Must-Have Marketing Tools

Trust me when I say I feel your pain; marketing is a necessary evil in the life of a book author. Are you kidding me; we were born to write and not born to market? Your daily chore to launch your book is marketing. Essentially, that means you must have the marketing tools to do it. Listed below is what I consider the must-have tools to launch and market your book

·         A Flipbook Trailer
·         Teaser Trailer(s)
·         Bookmarks
·         Business Cards
·         Graphic
·         Sell Sheets
·         Mock Cover Ads
·         Arsenal of Images

·         Press Releases

Monday, April 8, 2019

Author Tip - Stop and Smell the Roses

April 8, 2019

I am getting excited because this weekend holds a special place in my family. I am an Aries as in my husband, one daughter, and my granddaughter and we celebrate it by holding a Crawfish Boil and swim party. Also, on Sunday is New Orleans annual French Quarter Festival where the wonderful Rockin Dopsie Jr. and the Zydeco Twisters are one of the featured acts. Both activities are fun. Take a look at Rockin Dopsie in this video below.

To prepare for the Crawfish Boil, I have been cleaning my house like crazy and somehow my husband convinced me to repaint the foyer and all the trim. It took me days, but the house and yard are ready.

Immediately after these two big events, I travel to Los Angeles for several interviews, a book signing, and I leave on the Royal Princess for a cruise. I invite everyone to the book signing. The information is below.

Today's writer's tip is very simple, but difficult at the same time and it comes from one Pastor Shirley Lucas Cain, author of Beauty Grown From a Concrete Life: Blossoming in my Greatness. I had the honor of being her developmental editor and publisher with Absolute Author Publishing House. I made a call to her on a Saturday and she said, "You are still working? Everyone needs a break to refuel." She was right. I think often as authors we get carried away with our writing so much that we tend to overlook other areas in our lives. That is not good for you healthwise, nor is it good on your brain. So, I took Pastor Shirley's advice and quit for the weekend and rested my mind. Therefore, the Author Tip for this blog is to stop and smell the roses and take care of yourself. Everyone needs to get refreshed

Now I want to introduce you to a new author friend of mine. I think you will find her interview fascinating. Meet Vanessa Kin and her book The Road Less Traveled.


Name of Book: The Road Less Traveled
Year Published: 2019
Publisher: Communications DNA LLC





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 hold a Master’s degree in Physics, but my heart has always been with people. Even though I loved science, especially geometry and maths, I have always felt a deep pull for understanding others and helping them in the most various subjects. I write since I know myself as a person. I have won several writing contests since elementary and I knew sooner or later I would dedicate myself to pursue my writing dream in life!

What inspired you to write this book?

I find that in our world, we are conditioned from an early age to believe that we have to fight others to get somewhere in life. Many people think that competitors are enemies, that we are meant to destroy them. All these beliefs create unnecessary disagreements and conflicts and total oblivion about one’s emotions and feelings at times. All of this because I see things in a different manner have propelled me to put in words part of my knowledge about this subject in the hope of helping many in the world to understand themselves and others a little bit better and also to motivate and inspire those who feel the same way I do in trusting that they are not alone in the world!

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

I think this photo of me is related to the title… eh eh..

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

Personally: my father. As a writer, I think myself. My father has always been a peacemaker and always tried to understand others. He is an excellent orator and a man of words and of the word. I’ve watched since early age my father dealing with people. I think he was born emotional intelligent. His traits have a deep influence in me, in my way of being, in my values and what I think.

As a writer I will have to say myself, because many times I have felt lost in my life, completely lost, and writing was always in me, it took me a lot of strength and courage to not be ashamed of my own ideas, even if at times they are a little different than other people’s ideas. I have always been the only reliable motivator I have.

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

My whole life. I have always loved peace and agreements, but we know the world is set up to have people believing fighting is the only way. How do you survive believing in many ways when everybody around you looms at you as if you are the exception? It’s hard. However, I always managed to find a peaceful way through all the turmoil and turbulence so I think I’ve developed that muscle and now I felt I was ready to help many others by sharing about it.

Tell your readers about your book.

The Road Less Traveled is about emotional intelligence and emotionally intelligent leadership. This concept was developed in the 90s and has been given great projection in recent years. For many centuries, we have been looking at emotions and feelings as a weakness, but they are what make us as us. This book brings understanding about the importance of these concepts in our lives and work, explains the structure of generic disagreements and presents different possible solutions to them so that agreements are attainable and therefore conflicts are preventable and prevented.


Who is your target audience and why?

My book is for everybody who would like to know more about emotions, for everybody who manages groups of people and wants to do so in a more effective way and for everybody who already lives in such a way and feels like the exception in this world!

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

Understanding. It will allow them to understand others better and why they act and react the way they do. It will bring understanding about how disagreements start and how we can appropriately manage them to reach agreements through negotiations instead of living among conflicts or unsolvable and unsolved issues.

What do you consider your greatest success in life?

To represent others often. I truly love doing it and feel very happy when I’m appointed to do it by others.

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 have never thought that some people would utilize hate or hatred as fuel and motivation in their lives. However, through experience, I have observed that that is a reality for a significant portion of humanity. I had to learn that at times some people do not strive for peace or agreement. I have learned a lot with them, and in part, they have made write this book, so that in the future more people seek for understanding others instead of attempting to misunderstand them.

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

I am not into cut-throat competition. I value every single writer out there. Because they are unique. We all are. They have a different set of experiences in life, so any comparison makes no sense to me. I think we are all different and we all have our own value. I wish them all great success!
Tell your readers anything else you want to share.
I am truly grateful for this opportunity. Thank you! I want to tell everybody that I am up to answer any questions they may have and also I am looking forward to receiving comments, suggestions, and ideas! Please know I’m very communicative and would love to be connected with you all starting now! Be yourself and let’s keep on going!


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