Cat’s Fall Special “Spotlight” ~ I Welcome Writer of Music, Performer, and Author, John Tracy To Cat’s Den…

Hello and Welcome Friends, Readers, and Music Lovers!

I am so excited to do something a little different for all my friends and readers who love music! Since starting my new “Fall and Winter Featured Spotlights” for everyone, I wanted to share a new friend I met on Twitter who is an author, but mainly a writer of lyrics and a performer of fantastic music.

Please meet John Tracy, everyone!

His style of music is a soulful mixture of soft rock, meets country, meets a little blues
( just my own opinion)!!  He is dynamic with the unique set of talents as an author, writer, and musician. You can take a sneak listen of his songs including his newest release right from the home page of his website; John Tracy Music!  Here is a little more of John’s musical side…

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John Tracy has a reputation for crafting lyrics that cut right to the heart of the matter, making his music relevant to all of us on this human journey. Inspired by his folk, blues and acoustic rock influences, his songs fortify the human connection – truly REAL MUSIC FOR REAL LIFE.

He is a national charting artist having two singles from his latest album “Happy Ever After” reach the top 10. His newest single, “Fairytales Come True” was the number one most added song two weeks in a row in its release to radio and stayed in the top 10 for five weeks, topping out at #5 on the National FMQB Adult Contemporary chart.

The title track from the album, “Happy Ever After” also debuted as the number one most added song in its initial week to radio and rose to #10 during its time on the chart. Both singles were included in the United Kingdom’s “Brit Rock Show,” syndicated to 81 UK radio stations as well as five other syndicated shows across the UK and Europe. Their associated music videos have attracted attention from all over the music video programming spectrum, including video-on-demand, multi-market, retail pool/content providers and internet programmers, being shown in prominent retailers, nightclubs and restaurants in the US and Canada. 



“My Writer Interview With John Tracy”

 

 

Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we?  Hey everyone – so happy to be with you today!


Tell us your name and a little of what you do?

I’m John Tracy and am a performing songwriter. Actually, in addition to making music, I also wrote a book titled “Of Life, Love and Family – real-world insights into our most important relationships.”

of Life, Love and Family

by John Tracy Wilson on Amazon!


Where are you from?

I was born and raised in Fort Worth, TX and lived there until about five years ago when we moved to Virginia. I now am living in Richmond.


Tell us more about you? Like your education, family life. Etc.

I am married to my soulmate, best friend, anchor, and business partner, Teri. We celebrate our 34th anniversary this month. We have two amazing daughters (though who doesn’t think their kids are amazing?). Both are grown and have launched out into their own lives.

I am a full-time songwriter and performer. It wasn’t always that way as I had my turn in the corporate world, but that’s a long story for another day.


Do you have any latest news?

Well, let’s see – I released a music video a little over a month ago titled “Midnight Moon.” It’s a song I wrote in response to all the craziness going on in the world today. I actually wrote it at the beginning of this year, but it amazes me how almost every day it finds new relevance.

The video is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDzfokXMUwM

Are you a writer?

I am a writer – mostly a songwriter, but a few years back I was encouraged to write a book, so I tried my hand at being an author. I almost found it refreshing. In a song, you work so hard to condense the story you want to tell down to fit into a melody. When you are writing a book, you have more freedom to tell the details.

When and why did you begin writing?

I began writing songs in my early 20s. From an early age, I was drawn to music. My mother had this amazing album collection of all the 50s and 60s greats. We had this huge console stereo system – the kind that sat in a big cabinet. I would play her albums for hours.

As I became a teenager, I turned my attention to the 70s singer-songwriters who seemed to write about the things that I was going through. Their music spoke to me on a deep level. At 16 I started to take guitar lessons and before long, I was dissecting my favorite songs on my reel-to-reel, learning how to play each one note for note.

By the time I started my 20s, I wanted to do more than just play the songs of my musical heroes. I wanted to make my own music. So I started attending workshops and reading books on the art of songwriting and developed my own style from there.

What inspired you to write your first book

I wrote my first song right around 20.  Now over the years, I’ve probably written more than 100 songs. I have five albums out and am working on my sixth, which should be out later this year.

I wrote my first book in 2011 at the prompting of my mentor. It seemed there was more I wanted to say that would fit nicely into a song, so I sat down and penned my first book – “Of Life, Love and Family.”


How did you come up with the title?

When I perform, people always are interested in where my songs come from. So that’s where I started. I took some of the fan favorites and began by sharing the backstories. From there, the book seemed to take on its own course as I opened up about the relationships closest to me, the good ones and the hard ones, and the lessons I learned on how to bring more quality to our most important ones. The title just seemed to be a natural fit.


Do you have a specific writing style?

In my songwriting, I am very poetic. I work hard to make every word count, spending hours finding just the right words to meld with a particular melody. It’s not just about rhyming. It’s all about the flow of the song and what it has to say. Each lyric is important.

When it came to the book, I continued in that same writing style.


How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Virtually all my songs and my book are about my personal experiences. I am very transparent in my writing and openly share not only the victories but the struggles on my journey. I have people tell me that is what draws them to my work – they find themselves either within the songs or the pages of the book.

To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?

Not necessarily, although things like travel can bring on new inspirations. As creators, I think we are always chasing that muse. Sometimes she shows up in the everyday things and sometimes she’s a bit more elusive.

 

Who designed the covers?

That’s all over the place, but most recently, my wife Teri has helped me with that. That’s always such a challenging project. Whether it’s a book cover or an album cover, you want people who see it being intrigued. It’s everyone’s first impression.

 

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

I think the biggest message in both my songs and in the book is that there is hope. For me, I am a man of faith and I draw my strength and hope from my relationship with my creator. I want everyone to experience that peace. I want everyone to feel love and acceptance and to pass that on to the next generation.

 

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?  Who is your favorite writer?

That’s a tough one. I wish I had more time right now to enjoy other people’s creative work, whether that’s reading a book or listening to music. Sure, I listen to music a lot to see what the current trends are, etc. But I’m working on an album project and as most creators can attest to when you are in the middle of that process, it is all-consuming. I have to save reading for pleasure and listening to music for enjoyment for the times when I am in between new works.


Outside of family members, name one person that supported your commitment to becoming a published author?

Outside of my wife, who is my business partner and biggest supporter, I think my mentor, Tim Sweeney, was instrumental in encouraging me not to give up on my dream. He is the reason I wrote the book. His belief in my art and his support kept me moving forward when likely I might have given up.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

As far a songwriting, once I’ve recorded a song, it’s a finished work. It’s like a child birthed – I send it on its way into the world. Until it’s recorded, I’m always tweaking things here and there to make sure it’s the best it can be.

As for the book, writing it was actually such a stretch for me. It was so outside of my comfort zone. It’s a completely different way of writing than creating a song. However, now that it’s out there, I’m not sure I would change anything. I felt inspired as I was writing it, totally in the moments of creativity. I think if you go back after the fact and change something, you’ve disrupted the flow of what that creativity released.

Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?

I learned so much. The first is that I could do it. It’s a different process than writing a song. I’ve trained myself over the years in the craft of songwriting, but there’s a craft to writing a book, too. Gathering your thoughts and making sure you stay on target in your writing and making sure every word you use counts in telling the story.

But I think for me writing is a cathartic exercise. Particularly the book. It forced me to work through some of my harder relationships, the ones that didn’t end up so good. Through being open and sharing my heart in my writing, I began the healing process from years of hurts. It’s an experience I wouldn’t trade.


If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?

I’m not sure my work is suited for that. I would love for my songs to fit into a movie at some point. I love watching movies and hearing how songs perfectly compliment a scene or set the stage. I think it would be a thrill to have that happen with one of my songs.


Any advice for other writers?

I think this applies no matter what you are doing – stay true to who you are or your art won’t be an expression of you. Making the creative process a profession requires a lot of hard work, a lot of self-confidence, a thick skin and continual evaluation of whether what you are creating is relevant.

Success isn’t necessarily measured in financial terms. To me, real success is measured in the number of lives you inspire and the positive impact you leave on those around you. That’s not the definition of success most are looking for.

Share one thing about you that will surprise readers?

I’m not sure after listening to my songs or reading my book that there is much left to surprise anyone. I’m very transparent in my writing and share openly my love for my daughters, my wife, the importance of family, my struggles and joys, my hopes and aspirations, as well as my faith.


Will you write another book?

I will continue to write new songs as long as I am able, but I’m not sure about writing another book. My mentor thought I might have two or three left in me, but honestly, I’m not so sure that’s what I feel inspired to pursue right now.

 

What are you reading now?

I look forward to being able to get back to reading once this album is released. My favorites to read are autobiographies and inspirational stories that can move and inspire me, books that help me become a better version of myself, both as a husband/father and as an art creator. (Maybe start by reading Cat’s Memoir! LOL ).

 

Do you remember the first book you read?

It was probably back in grade school – I remember losing myself in “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” and “Charlie and The Chocolate Factory.” Both books open your mind to vivid imagery as you are reading and they still stand out to me today.

Tom Sawyer 1876 frontispiece.jpg

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, 1876 1st edition.

(continued);
I think as far as music, the first time I heard an album that really moved me was when my sister brought home James Taylor’s “Mudslide Slim and The Blue Horizon.” There was something about his music that stirred me somewhere deeply…

 

Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?

For some reason of late, I’ve been thinking about Abraham Lincoln. Probably because of all the craziness in our government right now. He was such a man of integrity. I think that’s hard to find in today’s politicians. I would have loved to sit down with him for a chat.

 

Do you have any hobbies?

I love good food and movies. If I hadn’t become an art creator, I think I would have loved to be a food critic. I can’t imagine anything more fun.

Favorite Music?

I listen to a lot of music on a more critical basis to see what current trends are. When I have time to kick back and listen for the pure pleasure of it, I always go back to what first inspired me. I think the music that still moves my soul comes from the 70s singer-songwriters. It has that comfort feeling to me like being home.


Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?

I hope I don’t see that future. Being a songwriter is part of who I am. Even if I no longer pursue it professionally, I hope I never have to give up this passion I have for making music.


What do you want to be written on your headstone as part of your Legacy?

Wow, that’s a tough one! I believe that our legacy is not in our worldly accomplishments – fame, fortune, title. It’s in the quality of the relationships we build and the love we share along the way. I would hope that my headstone reflects that this is exactly how I lived my life.


Do you have a blog or website where readers can visit for updates, events or updates and Connect with you on Social Media?

Absolutely – you can find me at John Tracy Music. I am also all over social media – Twitter  – Find me there @johntracymusic – Instagram  – And on Facebook too!

I thank you for sharing with me and my readers all about you John, and about your beautiful music and the book! We may have to swap books with each other. 🙂

It’s been a pleasure! Thank you so much for allowing me to share my passion with you.

 

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I have to add this little tidbit from John’s website that I think would be fun for a home party or reception? He PERFORMS IN YOUR HOME on Request! WOW! What a fabulous idea…Learn more here: to have a concert in YOUR home or backyard if you live in or around the Richmond, VA area…


“Interview Presented by Cat Lyon’s Reading and Writing Den of Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon” 

 

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Author – Writer SpotLight on Tony Roberts of “Delight in Disorder”…

Since fall has arrived and winter not far behind, readers will be gearing up for READING! Reading awesome new books, visiting blogs and websites, listening to music, and getting ready for the holiday season too. So I thought I would start a new fun feature on “Spotlighting” bloggers, authors, musicians and more as “the real writers they are.”

A more in-depth profile of their writing as a writer and learn what makes them tick. We all write for many reasons like just writing from the heart in a journal, write to author a book, or even write lyrics for music, or even write as a profession.

So let’s have some fun learning more about the person and their “craft as a writer.”  My First Guest?  I WELCOME Tony Roberts! An author, blogger, writer, and mental health advocate…

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About Tony Roberts:

Tony was born and raised in the Hoosier heartland just south of Indianapolis.

“I grew up worshiping high school basketball and once had the honor of playing in a televised “game of the week.” 

I went to Hanover College (alma mater of both Mike Pence and Woody Harrelson – go figure). After many detours into sex, drugs, and more folk rock than roll, I wound up at a seminary and became a pastor. It was then that symptoms of depression and mania culminated in a psychotic episode that became pivotal in my life, for better and for worse. After graduating from Hanover, I obtained a Master of Divinity degree from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. While there, I did ministry assignments at a state hospital for persons with developmental disabilities, as well as at a women’s prison, and an inner-city hospital.  

I served two decades as a solo pastor. I then shifted to writing, speaking, and leading small groups. In March of 2014, I published my spiritual memoir, Delight in Disorder: Ministry, Madness, Mission. Having served in pastoral ministry and gone mad, it’s now my mission to bridge the gap between faith communities and the mental health world.

I now live to write and write to live in Rochester, New York. I also have a “delightful domain” on Lake Caroga, the gateway to the Adirondacks.  My greatest earthly delights are my four children and two grandchildren.

Tony is also an author of his book; “Delight In Disorder” available now on Amazon and Amazon Kindle store online.

Product Details

“What makes Tony’s devotional so compelling is that bipolar disorder continues to periodically beat the crap out of him, and he still believes.”

– David Zucker, Mental Health Advocate, University Presbyterian in Seattle.

 


 

“A Writer Interview With Tony Roberts”

 

Hello and welcome to Cat Lyon’s Reading & Writing Den, New Writer Interviews.
My name Catherine Lyon, Author…  Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we?

Tell us your name and a little of what you do?

Tony Roberts. I am the author of Delight in Disorder: Ministry, Madness, Mission and the co-founder of Delight in Disorder Missions. I write, speak, and facilitate small groups with the aim to build hope and foster compassion for those with mental illness, like me.


Where are you from?

I was born and bred in Indiana, where I now live. I spent much of my pastoral career in Upstate New York.


Tell us more about you? Like your education, family life. Etc.

I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and theology from Hanover College and a Masters of Divinity degree from Louisville Presbyterian Seminary.

I am blessed to have four children (ages 25, 23, 16, 13) and two grandchildren who are the delight of my life. My birth family means a great deal to me. We live close and care for each other.


Do you have any latest news?

My blog, delightindisorder.org is growing. I will be featured in an upcoming issue of bp magazine. Plans are underway to develop a podcast with commentary as well as interviews with persons in the faith community and mental health fields.

Are you a writer?

Yes. Writing is my vocation.

When and why did you begin writing?

I’ve written in various forms since I was 7. My first piece, “Ode to My Pet Rock,” was a hit in my family. I wrote satirical stories in high school, college, and seminary. I wrote over 100 articles for school newspapers. I studied Creative Writing and penned a novella called, Life (in obvious places).

Why? For the same reason as Isaac Asimov. “I write for the same reason I breathe – because if I didn’t, I would die.”

What inspired you to write your first book?

It started out primarily as therapy. I had lost much of my memory and I had lapsed in my practice of reflecting on Scripture. This was a way of reclaiming both. I’ve been told that if we first write for ourselves, others will need to read what we write.


How did you come up with the title?

“Delight in Disorder” is a 17th-century poem by Robert Herrick about a dress that is beautiful in its imperfection. The subtitle (Ministry, Madness, Mission) was given to me by a friend when I described the stages of my pastoral life.


Do you have a specific writing style?

No. Sometimes I jot down notes. Sometimes I sketch outlines. Sometimes I start with a Scripture quote, sometimes I weave it in. Sometimes I move right to the word processor and edit as I go.  If there is one “style” is have is a commitment to editing.

~Paul Velery once wrote, “A poem is never finished, only abandoned.” I believe this about any writing. When I read my published work I cringe, knowing I could have spent more time on it.

How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

All my writing is based on my own life.

To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?

My memoir only required introspection. I could sit in my basement and stare at brick walls, which I often did.

My current writing is more collaborative. I have traveled various places to meet faith and mental health care advocates and learn more what is going on and how we can improve.

Who designed the covers?

Nicole Miller of Miller Media Solutions.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

I want people to read my memoir and find hope in Christ for those with troubled minds.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?  Who is your favorite writer?

Tim Keller is currently on my memoir. Favorite all-time would be Fyodor Dostoevsky.

Outside of family members, name one person that supported your commitment to becoming a published author?

Leanne Sype, my editor.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

I’m always thinking of changing I would have liked to make. But I now see I’ve given birth to it, it has a life of its own.

Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?

I learned many things — some brought me joy; others, sorrow. The biggest thing, I learned, though, is I can delight in the One who delights in me.

If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?

How about Russell Crowe? He makes a pretty good tortured soul.

Any advice for other writers?

Read. Write. Walk. Repeat.

Share one thing about you that will surprise readers?

In college, I was given my first tour by Mike Pence and later partied with Woody Harrelson.

Will you write another book?

Probably. Right now I am focused on electronic media, but I will likely get back to my first love eventually.

What are you reading now?

Nobody Cares About Crazy People by Ron Powers.

Do you remember the first book you read?

Bible story books from my grandmother’s house.

Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?

Singer/songwriter John Prine because he is the best storyteller I know.

Do you have any hobbies? Cooking.

Favorite Music?

Americana: John Prine, Iris Dement, Jason Isbell, Zoe Muth, …

Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do? 

 Listen to music. Cook. Share stories with friends and family.

What do you want to be written on your headstone as part of your Legacy?

“He delighted in the One who delights in us.”


Do you have a blog or website where readers can visit for updates, events or updates?  
Tony Roberts, Author of Delight in Disorder: Ministry, Madness 

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I thank you for sharing with me and my readers Tony! 


You can connect with Tony on Social Media!
Facebook
Twitter

Writers, Want More Print Coverage? My PR Friend Marsha Has The Answer!

Offer Up Your Own Articles As
A Writer!

 

 
One often overlooked means of getting great publicity is to contribute articles you wrote yourself to publications. Not only does your published byline boost your visibility, it provides an excellent credential.

While many of the major national publications don’t accept unsolicited articles, some do set aside space for contributor columns or accept guest columns on their op-ed pages. The New York Daily News and Newsmax, for instance, have published many articles written by our clients. In some cases, these articles have drawn the attention of other media, leading to more exposure for our clients.

Smaller publications, trade magazines, and online publications also may be good places for your articles to land. These publications often have small staffs, so they’re happy to get well-written articles that they don’t have to pay for. Your reward is the publicity you’ll receive because you’ll likely get a credit line that includes your website and email.

To help get you started on the path to publication, here are some do’s and don’ts:

 

  • Look for submission guidelines on the publication’s website – and follow them! Some publications post their rules for submitting unsolicited articles. They may outline the topics they’re interested in, minimum and/or maximum word counts, and the style. If you find guidelines, stick to them! The No. 1 mistake people make is going over the maximum word count. That will very likely get your article rejected. And, since editors often don’t tell you why they’re rejecting the article, the writer keeps repeating the mistake.
  • Pitch your ideas before writing a full article. While with some publications you can submit a full article, you can save yourself time if you first pitch a few ideas to gauge whether the editor would have any interest. Send a short email offering three or four topics, with a one-paragraph synopsis of each. Add a brief bio highlighting your relevant credentials. The worst they can do is say “no,” and if they do you won’t have wasted your time writing an entire 700-word article, or whatever length was the target.
  • Be prepared to offer exclusivity. Many publications state up front that they will accept only articles that have not been previously published. They may also require the writer to promise that the article won’t be submitted to other publications until a specified number of days pass. Be sure to check the fine print! Or, the editor may tell you it’s OK to publish in magazines that it doesn’t directly compete with.

Sign up for Google Alerts. Don’t assume that the editor will contact you to let you know when the article has actually published. One of the best ways to track that is to sign up for Google Alerts, so you’ll be notified when the article is posted online. Once that happens, be sure to share the link on your website and in social media to get the most out of the moment.

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Bylined articles help you establish your reputation as an expert, build your brand and gain visibility. They may lead to an invitation to be a regular contributor, as has happened with a number of our clients. And bylined articles can generate even more interest from other publications whose editors see your work and approach you wanting their own interview or story.

WRITE ON!

P.S. If you’d like professional help getting coverage in the press, or being interviewed on radio and TV, give us a call. We’ve been providing this service to clients for 27 years. We also offer a comprehensive social media marketing program for select clients, where we do it all for you.  If you’re interested in our help, please call us at 727-443-7115 Ext. 231, or simply reply to this email or visit our site at:  The PR Insider ~ EMSI  We’d love to hear from you!

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Celebritize Yourself: 5 Things To Focus On When Defining Your Brand

About Marsha Friedman:

CEO & Founder, Marsha Friedman doesn’t like sitting still. As a prominent business woman, she has run her public relations firm successfully through prosperity and adversity, ironically having one of her best revenue years in the midst of 2009’s recession. As a publicity expert, she has authored the book Celebritize Yourself.

Marsha Friedman launched EMSI in 1990. Her PR company represents corporations and experts in a wide array of fields such as business, health, food, lifestyle, politics, finance, law, sports, and entertainment. Some of the more prominent names on her client roster are Sergeant’s Pet Care Products, Former National Security Advisor Robert McFarlane, and the famous Motown Group, The Temptations.

She consults individuals and businesses on a daily basis and is frequently asked to speak at conferences about how to harness the power of publicity.

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My Spotlighted Blog Pick ~ Author, Adriana Gavazzoni “Talks S.E.X.” Behind The Door…

With her award-winning novel “Behind The Door” Author, Adriana Gavazzoni does not always think about sex. She is thinking what next to write in her next novel that will grab readers attention. She has a unique ability to incorporate many elements into her books like murder, suspense, thrills, and yes, sex.

I feel she is the new “Harold Robbins” of our reader generation. So when I visited her blog to see what is going on, I found this amazing post I am about to share some with you. Her blog is a must visit as she shares as a woman, a writer and she is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside. ENJOY Readers!

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SEX and Behind The Door…

Everybody loves sex, to talk about it, to read about it…and I’ve been receiving many questions about my novels and their erotic content.

Behind The Door and Lara´s Journal are psychological and erotic thrillers, but mainly, they are thrillers. Sex in Behind The Door is open, nonjudgmental, and the characters explore their fantasies and sexuality.

Most of the sex scenes in my novels involve Simone’s patients, or they are between Lara and her various lovers, and Simone learns about them while reading an attorney client’s memoir or while analyzing Lara’s journal. Simone is a psychiatrist who treats paraphilia—abnormal sexual behavior—and she writes books on the subject.

After reading my novels, many readers have written to ask about the sexual content, and I would like to answer here, on my blog, some of the questions I’ve received so far:

Question: Is all the unusual sex I read about in your novels real? Do people do those things?

Answer: Yes, I must tell you I research a lot about the subject, and everything I’ve included in my novels is based on things some people actually do—they are all based on people’s fantasies or actual practices, as reported on and researched by psychiatrists.

As I said in a previous post, research is very important for we authors—we need to give our readers information that is credible, and I put just as much time into researching the abnormal sexual behavior as I did studying every other element in my books.

Okay, did I embellish the scenes? Of course, I did—I added touches of humor or sadness—but the acts, the behavior…all those scenes are based on real-life activities.

Question: How do you feel when writing about sex?
Answer: Well, the same way you readers feel while reading about it…you can only experience feelings when reading because I had those feelings while writing.

Question: What is your opinion about unusual sex?
Answer: My opinion is and always will be that anything goes between consenting adults. People find pleasure is all sorts of ways, depending on their tastes and beliefs, but there are two factors that must always be present. One, the participants must all be adults. And two, the participants must all give their consent.

Question: Do you think you are a bad influence on people’s sexual behavior?
Answer: Nobody has that kind of power, and it’s not my intent because I didn’t write a sexual manual, and I don’t teach about sex. Sex is a part of the story…nothing more, nothing less.

And finally, the most common question I get…
Question: Have you ever experienced any of the unusual sexual activities you’ve written about?

Answer: The answer is no, I didn’t, and I don’t intend to… I’m a writer; I don’t need to kill someone to write about murder, and I don’t need to be a masochist to imagine how someone who is might think or behave…

As with every element in my novels—the sex, the mystery, and the murder—I first study and read, and then I imagine who I could use these things in my stories…and then I write about them. That’s how a writer’s mind works.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR ~ ~ Adriana Gavazzoni

My name’s Adriana Gavazzoni and I’m a lawyer and professor of law. When I’m not practicing I enjoy spending my time writing novels and legal books and am a voracious reader. I’m a very active person and love to dance, exercise and travel. My favorite countries are France, Italy, and the USA. I speak four languages: English, French, Portuguese and Spanish, and am currently studying Chinese. I hope to master it someday but it’s been a challenge! I absolutely adore animals and have two dogs of my own. Don’t tell them, but my love for dogs extends to all the rest!

“CAT Lyon’s Reading Den”
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Visit her website at Author, A. Gavazzoni …

My Author, Writer, and Blog Pick of The Week. Meet My Friend Stephen Who Needs Your Advice Blog Friends!

Many of my friends and readers know I ENJOY meeting new authors and writers through social media. Isn’t that using social what using social media for besides maybe business, marketing, and promoting or supporting something…I met Stephen I believe on Facebook as we have a lot in common.

SO, I wanted to help support him and his awesome blog by sharing a recent post he has on “Seeking Advice” on his book project he working on. Here is more and I invite you all to share your tips, advice, and wisdom writers and authors. Even YOU Readers!

 

Meet Stephen Kavalkovich

Author/ Speaker/Recovery Advocate and Coach

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I am a man who was given the gift of many experiences in life. For most of my adult life, I was a 911 Paramedic. I have seen tragedy and suffering first hand for many years. Little was I aware that I was the one who needed the saving. Through seeking peace within by using all things external, I wound up dead and ruined in every way.

My goal is simple, to use my experience to connect and give you a voice. I have expertise in Emergency Medical Care, First Responder and Addiction/Substance abuse issues, Recovery Coaching, Intervention, Leadership, and Spiritual Studies. I am available to serve your coaching, professional speaking, and journalistic needs.

 

HELP! FRIEND, I SEEK YOUR GUIDANCE…

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Good evening, friends. I have taken to my blog to enlist your guidance. I have had a burning desire for many years to write a book. A few months ago, I sat down at my table and just began writing. I wanted it to be a memoir of sorts, but my research showed a massive selection of the same format in the marketplace. I wanted to do something different, so have decided to draw on my personal experiences and create a fiction novel. I also felt that it would give me more creative freedom regarding details and specifics. As you can see above, this is the book cover I have created along with a short description of its contents.

Now, for my humble request. I wanted to ask what it is you would want to read about when you see the title and cover design?
What is it that would keep you turning pages?

If you take the time to read my autobiographical story at https://www.facingaddiction.org/news/2017/05/25/paramedic-survives-911   
this might help you to understand who I am and where I came from. I am so excited to embark on this project and really thought it would be a great idea to have as much of your input as possible.

For those who take my request for help seriously, there is a reward for you.

Any feedback or guidance offered will get a mention in the acknowledgments and 2 free autographed first editions. Would you want war stories? Factual events? What is it that would get you to purchase the book from a store display or on your Kindle or Ipad? I know what I would like to read but I really want to know what you would want.
I sincerely wish to express my gratitude for your current and hopefully continued support in the future. I pray for blessings and peace for each of you on your own journey of life and transformation…

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I would like to invite you to visit Stephen’s blog  ~  Welcome to Tales from the Broadside.  And connect with him on Social Media too!

On Twitter  ~  Facebook  ~  LinkedIn   ~  And Instagram!

Thanks, Friends!

“Cat Lyon’s Reading Den”

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“I don’t Like Talking “Politics” BUT? Like Me, Are You Fed UP?!

A Special Share and Spotlight on “What The HELL? About “Politics!
By my good friend Kenneth Abraham .  .  . “Let’s Sound Off”

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Give us a Real Choice!

The public is so fed up and disgusted by nonsensical political policies and obstructionist politicians that … well, just look at the current presidential debates! We have come to the point where useful, informative political discussion takes a back seat to sensationalism! All across America, the public yearns for action, meaningful progress, and politicians who will act to improve this nation!

It is time to give us a real choice! The Commission on Presidential Debates [CPD}, a body made up of longtime Democrat and Republican political operatives, has ruled that one must show a national polling percentage of 15% to be included in the Presidential Debates. This is absurd, and it is a genuine serious roadblock. This requirement is an obviously arbitrary construct, designed to limit the field to the two parties, Democrats. and Republicans.

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We call ourselves a democracy; let’s open it up! You might recall that in the Primary debates, several candidates on stage, for both parties, had polling figures around 1%, 2% or 5 %.  Why 15% for the “Main Event”?!  The public would only benefit by the inclusion of more candidates. The arguments against allowing 3 or 4 participants in these nationally broadcast debates, such as “it would be too confusing”, clearly are bogus, and changes should be made.

Consider, for example, that the candidates of the Libertarian Party, Governor Johnson, and Governor Weld, have qualified to be on the ballot in all 50 states and Washington D. C. Anyone can vote for them, yet most (the 80 million viewers of the Presidential debates!) cannot know their message! The opportunity for Americans to learn what they have to offer is stifled by the “15%” rule set by the CPD. Demand change … demand that candidates with such widespread support as the Libertarian ticket and the Green ticket be included in the Presidential debates!

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“President Obama To Donald Trump: ‘Stop Whining’ : NPR “President Obama had some harsh words for Donald Trump’s charges that the presidential election is going to be rigged — “Stop whining.”

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So American’s,  “Raise Your Voices, all of you who, like me, see no sense in limiting the field to two people who, by all accounts …all surveys … are disliked by more Americans than any candidates in the history of the nation. Speak out!

Ken Abraham, founder of Citizens for Criminal Justice, former Deputy Attorney General, Dover, DE.  Kenneth Abraham.

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“I have to agree with Ken here. I can tell you that all over social media it has been a “free for all!” as I myself have lost a few friends to this election season. They seem to have to force they political views on me in a very rude and bossy kind of way. SORRY, but I don’t for that! YES, everyone has a right to their Opinions, but they DON’T have the right to force it on others, and I am really getting tired of it! So I can not wait for the 2016 Elections to BE OVER! How about you?”

And I am SO tired of hearing Mr. Trump talk and whine about everything other than the important issue’s facing our nation today. As far as I am concerned, he himself is the one unraveling his own Campaign. And I just love watching Hilliary Clinton’s face at each debate. She knows exactly what Trump is doing. He sabotaging his own Presidental bid as she graciously watches it happen without saying a word. LOVE IT!!  I agree with our President, Trump needs to stop whining about everything that is just “ALL  ABOUT HIM.”

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“I have never seen in my lifetime, or in modern political history, any presidential candidate trying to discredit the elections and the elections process before votes have even taken place,” the president said. “It’s unprecedented. It happens to be based on no facts.”     ~”President Obama”

But as I close out my own thoughts and opinions of MY own, I will say to all American’s, please, this Election is an Important one. So exercise your Rights on November 8th, 2016! No matter WHO you vote for?

“JUST GO FRIGGIN VOTE! Nothing changes if YOU DON’T”
Author & Columnist, Catherine Townsend-Lyon 

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Guest Review: Author, Steve Hauptman Book Series-Book One of “Monkey Traps”

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Hello and Welcome Readers,

Lyon Book Promotions Presents Reviews, Guest Interview Article, and Book Promotion for Author and Writer Steve Hauptman. Steve has been everywhere these days with Book One of his series out, he has been interviewed at “Keys To Recovery News” and his book was reviewed by Founder and Editor at Keys too! His book is also listed and featured in “In Recovery Magazine’s The Bookstand and in my Column called; “The Author’s Cafe.” So when my fine authors get such “KUDOS,” I just have to share and congratulate them.
Great Job Steve.  Here we go!

My Author Article ~ The Author’s Cafe ~ In Recovery Magazine

Steve Hauptman, a Gestalt-trained, Buddhist-flavored therapist with a 20-year practice on Long Island, New York, is an author and cartoonist with a great sense of humor. He is currently working on the second volume of The Monkeytraps book series. Book One, “Monkeytraps: Why Everybody Tries to Control Everything and How We Can Stop” is now available on Amazon in both paperback and e-book format.

Hauptman grew up in an alcoholic family, which pretty much guaranteed his career as a control addict. He spent is younger years struggling with anxiety and depression, then tried everything most recovering codependents do – therapy, medication, reading, self-help – all of which helped to some extent. “It wasn’t until I began studying the idea of control that I understood what was making me miserable and what to do about it.”

Hauptman has always written and always wanted to write books. He taught college writing, then began using it as personal therapy, then taught others to do the same. When he became a therapist writing seemed to be a natural way to explore what he wanted to teach about control. “I once heard about how hunters in Africa catch monkeys by tempting them to trap themselves.  It seemed a perfect metaphor for human control addiction.”

People familiar with the idea of codependency will probably find it easiest to relate to Monkeytraps. Hauptman wrote it for anyone who are unhappy – anxious, depressed, addicted, struggling with relationships or parenting – and don’t understand why. The concept of control addiction offers both a new to explain all those problems and a new way to heal them.

“Bert, my inner monkey is my favorite character in my book.” Kevin shared. “He’s the part of me that tries to control stuff he can’t or shouldn’t control. We’ve been together a long time. I don’t always like him, but he did make the book possible.”

When I asked him if he has any unique talents or hobbies, Hauptman replied, “I make a pretty good hummus.”

 

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BOOK REVIEW FEATURE ~ KEYS TO RECOVERY NEWS ~  “Monkey Traps” Book One

“Monkey Traps, Why Everyone Tries To Control Everything
and How We Can Stop” ~ Written by Steve Hauptman.
Published by Lioncrest Publishing.  Review by: Beth Dewey

Product Details

I loved this book before I even opened it. The Title said
it all, and it tells me that Steve has not just written about the
“problem” he is offering a “solution”.

Written on that back cover “This book is about a problem
disguised as a solution, an idea that shapes and drives us all:
Control.”

Again the problem is clearly identified.

 

The book begins with explaining “The Monkey Trap”,
then each chapter clearly explains the different types of Control
we think we have. Steve gives us solutions, plans, and
steps to overcome the traps we live in. I like that towards the
end of the book the chapters are titled, Acceptance, Trust,
Faith, Practicing Surrender and so. Words I relate to. Each chapter is simple and easy to read and understand, and yet so deep it could change your life from the first moment you open the book and open your heart to a solution. Easy to follow and easy to practice instructions.

I give a heartfelt “5 Stars” for this book and I will be passing it on.

Steve Hauptman is a Gestalt-trained, Buddhist-flavored therapist who has practiced
on Long Island for twenty years. A leader of Interactive Therapy groups, he is
also a cartoonist and creator of the blogs Monkeytraps: A blog about control, Monkey
House (a forum for discussing control issues).


FEATURED GUEST ARTICLE ~ Written by Author, Steve Hauptman

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WANT TO TRAP A MONKEY? Try this:
1} Find a heavy bottle with a narrow neck.
2} Drop a banana into it.
3} Leave the bottle where a monkey can find it.
4} Wait.

The monkey will do the rest. He’ll come along, smell the banana, reach in to grab it. Then find he can’t pull it out because the bottleneck is too small. He can free himself easily. He just has to let go. But he really, really wants that banana. So he hangs on. He’s still hanging on when you come to collect him. And that’s how you trap a monkey.


WANT TO TRAP A HUMAN? 
Try this:
1} Place the human in an uncomfortable situation.
2} Wait.

The human will do the rest. He or she will try to reduce their discomfort by controlling the situation. The harder they work to reduce their discomfort, the more uncomfortable they’ll get. The harder they try to escape their discomfort, the more trapped they’ll feel. And that’s how you trap a human.

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This article is about control in general, and psychological monkey-traps in particular. A psychological monkey-trap is any situation that tempts us to hold on when we should let go — to control what either can’t or shouldn’t be controlled. The world is filled with monkey-traps. As is the emotional life of every human being. I learned this from practicing psychotherapy.

Theraphy also taught me four: truths:
1. We are all addicted to control.
2. This addiction causes most (maybe all) of our emotional problems.
3. Behind this addiction lies our wish to control feelings.
4. There are better ways to manage feelings than control. I call these the Four Laws of control.

CONTROL: The ability to dictate reality. That’s how I define control. It’s not a definition you’ll find in any dictionary and probably not how you define it. But it’s essential to understanding everything that follows. Dictate means rearrange or change according to our preferences. Reality means, well, everything – everything outside us (people, places, and things) and inside us (thoughts, feelings, behavior) too.

Defined this broadly, the wish for control stands behind just about everything we do consciously. Plus most of what we do unconsciously (feel, fantasize, worry, dream) as well. We seek control in order to get reality to behave as we want it to. We seek control because we want to make the world adjust itself to us, instead of vice versa. We all want control in this sense. Not just want, either. We crave it. Control is the mother of all motivations. Every human ever born has craved it and chased it. Because it’s a craving that is literally built into us.

CONTROLLING: The urge to control is part of our hard wiring. Why?

Because it is wired into us to ~ seek pleasure and avoid pain, ~ imagine a perfect life (one that meets all our needs and makes us perfectly happy), and then ~ try to make those imaginings come true. The word controlling covers all forms of this imagining and trying. Our trying may be large (building a skyscraper) or small (killing crabgrass), complex (winning a war) or simple (salting my soup). It may be important (curing cancer) or petty (trimming toenails), public (getting elected) or private (losing weight), essential (avoiding a car crash) or incidental (matching socks). I may inflict my own trying on other people (get you to stop drinking, kiss me, wash the dishes, give me a raise) or on myself (raise my self-esteem, lose weight, hide my anger, learn French). All this involves seeking some form of control.

We’re controlling nearly all of the time. We control automatically and unconsciously, waking and sleeping, out in the world and in the privacy of our thoughts. From birth until death. The only time we’re not controlling is when we can relax, and do nothing, and trust that things will work out just fine anyway. How often can you do that?

ABOUT ADDICTS:

Addicts are people who can’t handle feelings. Usually, because they never learned to as kids. Usually, because their parents never taught them. Usually, because they couldn’t, because their parents never taught them. (Usually. There are other paths to addiction, but this is the most common.) Being unable to handle feelings is a problem since feelings tend to keep coming up. So the kid of such parents naturally starts looking around for something to make the damn things go away.

Drugs, alcohol, and food are obvious solutions. Though anything that alters your mood (work, shopping, sex, porn, TV, video games, housecleaning, alphabetizing your spice rack) can be turned into an addiction. And even when they work, these solutions are temporary. Feelings always come back. So a person without some healthier way to handle them is forced to drink, drug, eat, work, or whatever they do to make the feelings go away again. And that’s how addiction is born. Some are more destructive than others. But in the end, each addiction is the same. Because each has the same goal: To give the addict control over emotional life. And that’s why when I’m asked, “What does control have to do with addiction?” I reply, “Everything.” Because finally, every addiction is an addiction to control.

As a practical matter, every recovery from control addiction
starts with three questions:

1. What am I trying to control here?
2. Have I been able to control this before?
And if the answer to question 2 is No:
3. What can I do instead?

These are essential questions to ask ourselves when stressed because they remind us that (a) stress is what usually triggers our controlling, and (b) our controlling usually produces more stress. Not always easy to answer, though.
Because each is a trick question.

(1) What am I trying to control?
Control addicts answer this by looking outside themselves, at externals.

Please Connect with The Author Below:

Author Websites and Profiles
Steve Hauptman Website
Steve Hauptman Amazon Profile
Steve Hauptman Author Profile on Smashwords

Steve Hauptman’s Social Media Links
Goodreads Profile
Facebook Profile
Twitter Account


” Author Spotlight Presented By ~ Lyon Book & Social Media Promotions “