Cat’s Special Super Bowl Guest Author, Meet Randy Grimes & His New Book Titled “Off Center: A Memoir of Addiction, Recovery, & Redemption in Professional Football,” And Why Everyone Needs To Read This Book.



Usually, I don’t start my guest spotlights of an author by sharing my book review and other reviews already on Amazon first.

This is not an ordinary special guest spotlight with Randy being a first-time best-selling Amazon Author; I’m kind of excited to get to the good stuff first. Please, meet Randy Grimes, an awesome friend, and I’ll share all about him and his amazing wife with you after the reviews. Since he and his wife are attending their 13th Super Bowl in Calf., I thought I would have him as my Special Guest Author to share his fantastic new book!

Randy Grimes is a former professional football player who played his whole NFL career for the Tampa Bay Bucs. He was drafted right out of college, playing for Baylor University. Just a little boy from Tyler, Texas, who had big dreams of just playing the game and sport of football. But, he never knew addiction was lying in wait years later.

That is a smidge of what you learn while reading his new memoir titled “Off Center: A Memoir of Addiction, Recovery, and Redemption in Professional Football.” It has been a long journey for Randy to get this exceptional book written and to the finish line to release.

And, “how sweet it is” that it was released right before the Super Bowl ~ 2022!

Of course, Randy and Lydia have been busy in California with all the Super Bowl festivities and soaking in the sun while Randy does his NFL duties (lol), like Radio Row at the Super Bowl this past week. Not only to promote and share his new memoir but share a message of HOPE. Also, sharing what he and Lydia and other former pro athletes do through their organization of https://proathletesinrecovery.org/our-story/ that I highly suggest everyone should take a visit!

Image Courtesy of Randy Grimes


CAT’S BOOK REVIEW FOR:

Off Center: A Memoir of Addiction, Recovery, and Redemption in Professional Football

by Randy Grimes and (Forward) by Mike Ditka | Feb 4, 2022

CAT’S REVIEW:

I am an Avid Cat Reader!

5.0 out of 5 stars “I Need More Than Five Stars to Rate!

Reviewed in the United States on February 6, 2022

Off-Center by Author Randy Grimes is a former NFL Pro who played with the Tampa Bay Bucs. Unfortunately, his memoir is not your average read. Randy’s story, testimony, and intervention of another are fine examples of how anyone can be “touched” by addiction, be it a regular person or even as a sports pro.

With big dreams of playing football, a little boy from Tyler, Texas, had no idea that addiction had been lying in wait for years. That is the cunningness of any addiction. Randy’s memoir also shows how this can happen without going rogue with ego or status or being a “Party Guy.” If there is anything he knows best, Texas is known for, “The Love For Family, Faith, Church on Sunday, and FOOTBALL!

While he shares his life, past pro career, while sharing an intervention and part of the advocacy work is some of what you find between the pages of this exceptional book. With “No Shame,” the author shares the real and raw of his downfall, how he crawled on his hands and knees into a treatment center, and another example of how many athletes end up having addiction problems later in their career afterward.

It seems that when you play pro sports and have the best doctors and sports medicine professionals helping you stay in the game, and it’s over? All the author wanted to do was get rid of the pain from all the injuries he had. So sad he had no guidance after he left pro football.

Then the true miracle of faith begins to work within his life after losing just about everything he worked so hard for and to provide for his family, as he went from being lost, addicted, and spiritually broken to a man who stands tall today within redemption! And that is only the tip of the iceberg you’ll read within this fantastic memoir.

I have read many memoirs from other sports pros, and this one is not your standard braggy sports stats and facts. Everyone should read this book and learn how anyone can change and turn their lives around after addiction. Randy and Lydia help many athletes gain life from addiction while healing the whole family through several foundations.

I highly suggest parents read this memoir/book, and I enjoy reading a great book that can teach you something while cheering (for Randy) simultaneously! It’s what makes this book a must-read.

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Now, this Cat has been in the business of book promoting and marketing for an extended time. That means I’ve read many memoirs from everyday folks to many high-profile people like celebrities, sports pros, and others.

I can honestly tell you there is a little something within the pages of this book for anyone who enjoys reading.

So with that said, here is more about Randy’s book and a few more reviews for “Off Center” that share “The Why” you need to read this fantastic memoir. Since the book was released on Amazon Books and Amazon Kindle a few days ago, Randy’s biography has HIT #1 in over 6 different categories.
Now that is priceless and a darn good read!



ABOUT THE NEW MEMOIR of RANDY GRIMES

Randy Grimes quickly learned one important truth as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers top draft pick: play through pain or get cut.

This is just part of being a pro athlete, he told himself.

Growing up in Tyler, Texas, Grimes’s life was very much on center. A childhood spent in church on Sundays and on the gridiron all week turned into a football scholarship to Baylor, marriage to his college sweetheart, and a coveted NFL roster spot.

When the Bucs’ starting center began piling up brutal hits, he determined to do anything to stay in the game. If the pills prescribed by the team doctors could help, Grimes would take them.

“All in a day’s work,” he told himself.

Even before Grimes left the NFL, his life began slipping off center. Eventually, he lost almost everything he owned, the respect of his children, and very nearly his life, before tumbling out of the car and crawling on hands and knees into a treatment center—literally—into a life-changing miracle.

Off Center is Randy Grimes’s riveting story of having it all, playing the sport he loved, losing almost everything, and ultimately finding redemption and hope. Witness the addiction trap that binds millions and claims thousands of lives each year—and the steps Grimes took to reclaim his life and guide others.

Today Grimes and his wife, Lydia, stage drug and alcohol interventions for professional athletes, celebrities, business leaders, and everyday Americans to find recovery from addiction.

Recovery has become his playbook. His treatment center colleagues are his team. And those with addiction are his community.

Above all, Randy & Lydia Grimes want people to know: “Even when the world seems to be yours, there is room to fall. And even when that world seems to slip away, there is hope.


A Few More Book Reviews For “Off Center.”

Off Center Book Image

“I saw something very special in Randy Grimes while recruiting him from high school to Baylor University. I saw a leader, a warrior, someone who would battle through any obstacle to reach his goals. The pages of this book just reaffirm what I already knew. Nothing, not even addiction, could ever keep Randy Grimes down. A great comeback story!”
—Grant Teaff; head coach, Baylor University 1972-1992; executive director, American Football Coaches Association; College Football Hall of Fame

Off Center Book Image

“I’ve seen athletes who wanted to be great but were unwilling to do the necessary hard work over the years. Recovery is similar. Some want to be sober—but are unwilling to do what it takes. Not only did Randy do the work, but his story is the perfect example of the fruits of recovery. This book is one of those fruits!”
—”Sudden” Sam McDowell; MLB pitcher, Cleveland Indians 1961-1975; six times MLB All-Star; author, The Saga of Sudden Sam

Off Center Book Image

“I played during the same time as Randy and shared his conference and in fact, faced his team twice a year. I know firsthand the pressures he faced to stay on the field. I also know the play-at-all-costs mentality that existed then. Randy accurately describes the dark side of the NFL, and what many were and still are willing to do to be the best. Great job, my NFL brother!”
—Eric Hipple; NFL QB, Detroit Lions 1980-1989; mental health advocate; author, Real Men Do Cry


I sure hope all my readers, friends, and visitors have enjoyed reading this Special Super Bowl Guest Author Spotlight all about my friend and call Randy a fellow author too! 

The image above is the most memorable day I hold dear as my hubby, “Big Tom,” and I finally met Randy and Lydia’s beautiful wife. 

They were gracious to come and speak for an event I pulled together for a friend at the Arizona State Capital to raise awareness of all addictions to share our recoveries, and it was the BEST DAY EVER! (Lol). 

Randy and I have supported one another’s recovery for almost four years. Randy and Lydia have been amazing friends and kind mentors to Tom and me. We have advocated and have networked together several times. So when I call him while I am helping someone in need of recovery or intervention advice, he is always the first to answer my call…

So we are blessed to call them both our friends.
~Cat










Lyon Literary Consulting Gives Congrats To Author Peggy Hinaekian’s Stellar 4-Star Awarded Book Review From Readers Favorite For Her Memoir…


The Girl from Cairo


The Girl from Cairo

A Memoir by Peggy Hinaekian


Non-Fiction – Memoir
260 Pages
Reviewed on 03/27/2021

4-STARS ✨✨✨✨✨
Review Page: https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/the-girl-from-cairo

For immediate release:

Author’s new book receives a warm literary welcome.


“Readers’ Favorite announces the review of the Non-Fiction – Memoir book “The Girl from Cairo” by Peggy Hinaekian, currently available at” http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/166413381X.

Readers’ Favorite is one of the largest book review and award contest sites on the Internet. They have earned the respect of renowned publishers like Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Harper Collins, and have received the “Best Websites for Authors” and “Honoring Excellence” awards from the Association of Independent Authors. They are also fully accredited by the BBB (A+ rating), which is a rarity among Book Review and Book Award Contest companies.

“Reviewed By Grant Leishman for Readers’ Favorite

The Girl from Cairo: A Memoir by Peggy Hinaekian is the autobiography of an Armenian girl who grew up in exile in a suburb of Cairo known as Heliopolis. Peggy’s family were considered well off by Egyptian standards but her mother was required to jump through all sorts of hoops to keep their true economic status a secret from their friends and neighbors. Peggy’s father was a roguish, but lovable character whose one fatal flaw was his inveterate gambling. His gambling had cost the family dearly and they lived on their wits, especially Peggy’s mother’s wits to hide their true economic downfall. Attending a strict Catholic girl’s school in Heliopolis, Peggy’s lack of knowledge of sexual matters was exposed as she fell desperately in love.

Living in Cairo, through WWII, an Egyptian war for independence and war over control of the Suez Canal made for a scary route to adulthood for the young woman. All through the troubles, though, Peggy’s vision for her own future never faltered. She would, she believed, travel to America and make it into movies or as a fashion designer. As the country descended into war over the Suez Canal, it was time for Peggy to leave Egypt and seek her fame and fortune in the big, wide world.

The Girl from Cairo: A Memoir is an interesting story of a different culture and the difficulty of growing up in a country where you not only look different than the majority of the population, but your ideals, mores, and cultural beliefs are in stark contrast to the bulk of the people. Author Peggy Hinaekian did come across at times as incredibly self-absorbed and perhaps even selfish but one has to weigh that against the whole concept of being seen as a foreigner, or an interloper in the country where you were domiciled.

Doubtless, the Armenians in Egypt felt they had to look to themselves first and foremost because nobody else would. What struck me the most was the willingness Peggy showed to change direction and often location with little or no planning of how she would survive in a different situation. Her courage and belief in herself were so refreshing for a young woman of this era. I particularly enjoyed her willingness to flout established practices and norms in Egypt. She was a woman who knew her own mind and nobody was going to tell her how she should behave. This is an intriguing coming-of-age in a situation that few of us could imagine, let alone experience.”

I did enjoy this read and can definitely recommend it.”


(You can learn more about Peggy Hinaekian and “The Girl from Cairo” at https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/the-girl-from-cairo where you can read reviews and the author’s biography, as well as connect with the author directly or through their website and social media pages.)

Readers’ Favorite LLC
Media Relations
Louisville, KY 40202


BIOGRAPHY


Of Armenian origin author, Peggy Hinaekian was born and raised in Egypt. Her paternal grandfather had the largest private library in Egypt, and Peggy was introduced to books in three languages (English, French, and Armenian) at a very young age.

Peggy grew up in a very cosmopolitan environment and was an avid reader. Since the age of ten, she kept a journal and always wrote short stories, essays, and children’s picture books.

She immigrated to Canada with her first husband and then went on to the United States, where she pursued a career in fashion designing in New York in fine arts. After her divorce, she left that behind and moved to Geneva, Switzerland, and continued her career as an artist.

Peggy Hinaekian is a writer and author; she is an internationally recognized, well-established artist living and working in the United States and Switzerland.

Now with three literary works to her credit, you may purchase her books from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and many fine online book stores. She is married, raised three beautiful sons, and resides with her husband part-time in Florida and California.




The Author On Amazon Link https://www.amazon.com/Peggy-Hinaekian/e/B01LX3F0WR/

You can connect with the author below

 WebsiteFacebookTwitterInstagramGoodreadsAmazonLinkedin





My Book Review For “Aiming High” By International Best Selling Author, Darren Prince. Forward Written By “Magic Johnson” Former NBA Legend.

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Darren Prince | Steered Straight

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About International Best-Selling Author, DARREN PRINCE, His Book, Career, and Giving back:

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CAREER
Darren Prince is a sports and celebrity agent who, at the age of 14, founded a mail-order company selling baseball cards and traveling around the country participating in trade shows. At the age of 20, he sold his company and became an industry leader in private autograph signings for sports and celebrity memorabilia with athletes and celebrities. A-List celebrities included Muhammad Ali, Hulk Hogan, Pele, Joe Montana, Carmen Electra, and Jenny McCarthy.

In 1995 Prince started a new venture with Prince Marketing Group (PMG), representing athletes and celebrities for marketing deals consisting of endorsements, licensing, TV, movie and book deals, autograph signings, and appearances. His first client to sign with the firm was none other than Magic Johnson. Soon after Smokin’ Joe Frazier, Dennis Rodman, Pamela Anderson, and Chevy Chase followed.

With PMG growing at an enormous pace, Prince added Scottie Pippen, Clyde Drexler, Mickey Rourke, Roy Jones Jr, Micky Ward, and the late Evel Knievel as clients over the years. The sports/entertainment industry is a small world and very competitive,” says Darren Prince, CEO of Prince Marketing Group. “Prince Marketing Group has prospered over the years by delivering out of the box thinking for clients and building relationships through the practice of good business and effective networking.”

Prince Marketing Group is currently a multi-million dollar business that has negotiated over $200 Million in deals and currently secures marketing deals, arranges signing/memorabilia appearances, commercial licensing, product endorsement, and voice-overs.

Darren is a true entrepreneur as he has been able to continuously reinvent himself and significantly grow his business over the years. He has been featured in outlets such as Your World With Neil Cavuto, The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch, CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360, Hannity & Colmes, ESPN, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, New York Post, USA Today, Forbes’ Sports Money, On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, Howard Stern radio, CNBC The Closing Bell and a variety of others for his marketing expertise.

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AIMING HIGH FOUNDATION:
Today Darren gives back to those who suffer from addiction. Darren Prince, International Best Selling author of his memoir “Aiming High” is a prominent sports and celebrity agent and global advocate for addiction and recovery.

As a leading authority in this recovery space, his insights have been featured in WSJ, NYT, USA Today, CNN, Fox and Friends, Tucker Carlson, and Dr. Oz. From selling his first business at 19 to building a multimillion-dollar talent agency, Darren has experienced what life is like in the celebrity world. Unfortunately, he also saw the dark reality of addiction through his own personal struggle. After over 11 years of sobriety, it’s now Darren’s mission to help others avoid and break free from addiction.

Through his new cause and the Aiming High Foundation, he has become a sought after speaker on addiction recovery and mental health. He specializes in helping high functioning addicts and at-risk executives to identify and avoid the pitfalls of addiction and especially enjoys working with teens teaching them self esteem and self-worth.

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ABOUT HIS BOOK

   

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Aiming High is the astonishing story of sports and celebrity agent Darren Prince, who battled addiction while representing some of the most iconic figures in the world. After a drug overdose, many demoralizing nights, and mornings where he couldn’t get out of bed without a prescription in hand, Darren hit rock bottom at the top–and in the process discovered the true meaning of success. The paperback and ebook now on sale and available at MyBookOrders. Now available as an audiobook and you can listen FREE with Amazon Audible Free Trial Membership!
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MY REVIEW FOR “AIMING HIGH” and EDITORIALS 

Aiming High: How a Prominent Sports and Celebrity Agent Hit Bottom at the Top
by 
Darren Prince (Goodreads Author), Kristen McGuiness, Earvin Johnson (Foreword)

 

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Catherine Townsend-Lyon‘s Review

Jun 07, 2020 


A Memoir of Addiction, Self-Discovery, and Freedom Within Recovery

Not many of us get a second chance in life after addiction. Not everyone reaches the height of the business world while having a self-imposed problem with opioids until you overdose. That is what happened to Darren Prince as he shares all in his intriguing memoir of “Aiming High.” Being a top sport and celebrity agent while representing some of the most iconic and legendary figures of our generation didn’t mean Darren was not immune from addiction either as he shares in his memoir.

Another lesson you will learn from reading Darren’s book. As a person maintaining recovery myself, I have learned that “Addiction of any kind does not Discriminate of whom it will touch”… Something Darren understands today and brave of him to share his testimony while sharing many memorable stories throughout his career as he weaves his downfall, but most important, how he fought like hell to gain his life back within recovery. He also proves we stay “sick as our secrets.” And that is part of the disease of drug addiction.

I won’t lie; it is impressive to continue working in a high-profile career and hiding a secret of drug addiction. But? The bigger you become? The harder they fall. But Darren got back up and now shares all to help others who may suffer in silence just as he had. He is a real example that if want your life back from addiction? You have to do the recovery work needed, and Darren shares it as well. The fantastic stories alone make the book a great read, but the clear message is there is HOPE after addiction, and recovery is possible for anyone.

“Aiming High” needs to be read by everyone because it has an extraordinary message of endurance, acceptance, and HOPE.

~Lyon Media Services & Literary Consulting –Catherine Lyon~

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MORE REVIEWS and EDITORIALS 

“For 17 years, Darren has worked 24/7 as my sports agent.  I’ve seen him at his worst and now at his best. Aiming High is all about the journey he took to get there, and how today he is living a spiritual life one day at a time.  Ten years ago, he asked for the blessing and now he’s become one.”

Hulk Hogan

World Wrestling Entertainment Twelve-Time Champion

“Aiming High is an amazing story of struggle, acceptance, and embracing the power of recovery.”


Chris Herren

Former NBA Player, Motivational Speaker


“Well done Darren for the release of his memoir “Aiming High”. His story of opiate addiction to sobriety while managing revered icons of our time.”

Dr. Drew

Addiction Specialist, Media Personality


Amazon ReviewS:

5-Stars!
Aiming High is an identifiable story of self will run riot, the inability to be true to oneself, and the power it took to finally deal with life on life’s terms.

Darren’s acknowledgment of what it was like, what happened, and what it’s like now is so honest, courageous, and inspirational! This book needed to be written and more importantly, needs to be read!


Daniel

 

Matthew Israel‘s Review

Oct 03, 2019
5-STARS 
Read 2 times. Last read October 3, 2019.

 

MUST-READ!!!! YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO PUT IT DOWN!!!

As the opioid epidemic continues to worsen in this country, people need to learn more about it, especially if anyone close to you is battling this horrible addiction aka disease of the mind. This story is almost surreal, but shows how it can happen to anyone! This book was extremely well written. One of those rare books you won’t put down until it’s complete!

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FORWARD Written by Earvin “Magic” Johnson Former NBA Legend:


Darren and I have worked together for 24+ years. During that time, he has worked 24/7, negotiating memorabilia signings, speaking engagements, appearances, and other services. It’s an honor to write the foreword for his book.

Transitioning from being a renowned athlete to a successful businessman was not easy, and I like working with people who are trustworthy, motivated, and efficient. Darren was all of the above. After the second time working together for one of my signings, Darren told me that his parents were downstairs in the hotel lobby and asked if they could join us. Meeting Darren’s parents helped me realize how important family was to him. His business wasn’t about making money; it was about building relationships and growing extended family. He made me a part of his family, and he became a part of mine.

Two years later, Darren shared his dream to become an agent and start Prince Marketing Group. He was young, but he had a plan and he knew what he wanted to do in life. I wanted Darren to be more than successful, so I continued to work with him as his client. Over the next few years, I watched as he worked with some of the biggest stars in sports and entertainment, such as Smokin’ Joe Frazier, Muhammad Ali, Pamela Anderson, Chevy Chase, Larry Bird, Dennis Rodman, Hulk Hogan, and many, many others.

As good friends, in 2006 Darren talked to me about very challenging times that he was undergoing, the most challenging being an opioid addict. “Earvin,” he said, “I can’t get out of bed in the morning or function during the day without painkillers. It’s taken over my life. Talking, traveling, working out, eating; I can’t do anything without the pills. I can’t stop.”

Nothing was bigger than the painkillers that he was addicted to, which were slowly taking his life. I had seen too many lives destroyed from addiction and knew he needed to get his life in order. It took some time for Darren to reach complete sobriety. After almost nearly losing his life to opioids, Darren overcame the addiction and built a greater life through his recovery.

Through sobriety, he has continued to expand his business, and he is using his testimony to help others fight their addiction. Amidst all the tragedy that has resulted from this opioid epidemic, Darren has the courage and support to share his story and inspire thousands of people in this book. Darren is a survivor!

“Today, Darren doesn’t just represent the biggest stars; he has become a star in his own right in the world of recovery.”

He speaks in schools all over the country, and he is dedicated to Turning Point, where he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at their recent gala. Darren has appeared on Dr. Oz and other national media to share his message on recovery.

Recently, he began working with the White House Commission on Combating the Opioid Crisis, where he plans to educate youth on how they can build self-worth and faith so they don’t go down the same road he did.

Over the years, I have watched Darren Prince grow in his business, tackle his addiction, and now lead a life of spirituality and inspiration. I am extremely proud of the man he has become, and I am honored to be a part of Darren’s family.

I hope his book inspires you to overcome any battles you may be fighting and to be a light unto others.

– Earvin “Magic” Johnson 

Connect with Darren on Social Media 

Visit the author: WebsiteFacebookTwitterInstagramGoodreadsAmazonLinkedin,

 

My New Author Interview of All Things Recovery, Literary, and Helping Others. All My Passions In Life…

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Yes, that is ME in the photo with my Red Big Jim’s Ride Around America Shirt on and with some amazing recovery friends this past April 2019 at a Speaking Event I spoke about my story from gambling addiction and my life today almost 13-yrs later maintaining recovery and advocacy work to raise awareness …

Now, it’s not every day I happen to get invited for an Author Interview. I’m a wee bit shy since I do battle agoraphobia and I get a little nervous doing interviews. But since I have had so many new blog friends come to visit and follow along on both my recovery and my book blog, I thought I would take up the offer from Terry who owns Author Shout which is an amazing large reader site as Terry connects authors and readers together so readers can find many awesome new books.

The interview has been updated as my journey all began with one little book I published and grew from there! I hope all my new friends and followers will enjoy learning about “All The Hats I Wear” on my recovery and literary journey! And if you didn’t know?

My at-home business is promoting many fine authors and their books and can be seen on my other WordPress Book Blog of “Cat Lyon’s Reading & Writing Den” and home of “Lyon Media Services”…

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Just some of my back story as I am a Best-Selling Author of The Kodel Publishing Group with her shocking debut memoir titled; “Addicted to Dimes: Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat.”

Catherine’s Memoir is both an in-depth and raw look as she takes readers on a journey of many important topics that ‘touched’ her life, starting as a little girl into adulthood. Not a book on how to recover but an in-depth look of how events in one’s life, or past trauma and abuse, or even the ways of parental discipline can be some of the underlying factors to why some people may turn to an addiction later in adulthood as form of escape, numb hurt feelings, or just trying to cope with everyday life when not emotionally strong and haunting memories of it come calling…

She had taken a dark path, trying to elude that past childhood pain and traumatic events. She began using gambling as a coping skill and escapism into a “dream world” to forget, if only for a few hours the haunting memories of her childhood sexual abuse, parental verbal and physical abuse, and lived with undiagnosed mental/emotional illness for years. Shaping the “perfect storm, she became addicted to gambling with alcohol abuse right before entering treatment. So, something like gambling to be for fun and entertainment became her worst nightmare and almost took her life, twice!

Now maintaining recovery nearly thirteen years, Catherine has become well known in the addiction/recovery communities and is a loud advocate of gambling addiction, mental health, and why the expansion of Indian Casinos and State Lottery offerings needs to stop across America. Catherine’s featured in many mainstream media and recovery publications like Columbia University’s Media Release through the 2×2 Project “Gambling with America’s Health. Also was interviewed for “NAUTILUS &Time Magazine online article in September 2016.

She is a former writer and columnist for “In Recovery Magazine’s-The Author’s Cafe”  and after it’s sale was hired as a freelance writer and columnist for Keys To Recovery newspaper. She is also an “Expert Gambling Recovery Blogger” for “Addictionland”   of Founder/Author, Cate Stevens along with other recovery experts like the late Christopher Kennedy Lawford, Tommy Rosen, and Arnie Wexler. She recently handled all the media and social media manager for “Big Jim’s Bike Ride Around America” until Jim Downs was forced off the ride due to serious medical issues after 4 months of biking over 5,000+ miles.

Catherine, aka., CAT lives just outside Phoenix, Arizona and So. Oregon. She is married to her husband for 29-years. She is a ‘Cat Lover’ and has three, Ms. Princess, Mr. Boots, and Simon-Peter. She has no choice but to be an avid reader for her business, but she loves cooking, gardening, swimming, and rafting. She owns and runs an online marketing business called: “Lyon Book & Social Media Promotions.

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Author Interview With Catherine Townsend-Lyon

 

Q. What question do you wish that someone would ask about your book(s), but nobody has? Write it out here, and then answer it.

Why did you write and disclose personal family experiences? Were you afraid of backlash or judgment from family and others?

 

A.  I feel that is what writing a memoir is all about. Since my book is about my life of many topics including gambling addiction and recovery and not a book of HOW to RECOVER, I wanted readers to have an inside view of how our family life growing up can later become some of the reason some may turn to addiction in the first place.

I, nor many people do not grow up in an “angelic” family dynamic. Some grow up in a dysfunctional or abusive situation. That was my experience, and later became added “fuel” to my gambling addiction. I wanted to “set the back story” so to speak so readers had an understanding of how many of us turn to addictions instead of knowing there are places we can get help like counseling or therapy when your “past comes back later in life haunting you.”

As far as any backlash, my family needs to understand this memoir is not about them, it about how I was affected by how I was raised and disciplined. I was also sexually abused as a little girl, and I stuffed that away for years without my parents knowing until adulthood. You will have to read my book to learn how all that turned out. So, you have to brave enough to share the good, the bad, and all the ugly if you are going to write a memoir without the worry of backlash. I am trying to help others through my book. For me, that is what I focused on and help others know they are not alone if this happened to them.

Q. What is your writing process? Do you follow a regular routine or do you have any weird, funny, or unusual habits while writing and what are they?

A. Not really. My first book came very easy to me. And believe or not I hand wrote the memoir in 6 spiral notebooks. At that time, I was not writing a book, I was writing for myself to heal and to see all that gambling addiction and alcohol abuse had taken from my life. The book part and becoming published happened a year later as “divine intervention” I say.

I then was invited to be part of a compilation book which published in December of 2017 titled “Ten The Hard Way.” And I have been working on my next book for a long while and will be about HOW to begin recovery and what to expect. The only weird thing? I love writing when it’s raining. But I am not an outline or draft type of writer. I just let the words flow out of me onto paper. More of a freelancer.

Q. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?

A. I can thankfully say no to this question. One of the best pieces of advice I had received from another writer was, “write what you know.”

Unfortunately, I know much about gambling addiction, recovery, mental health challenges, and childhood trauma. All these topics have ‘touched’ my life and I advocate about passionately …

Q.  What is the single most important piece of advice for aspiring authors?

A.  I would have to pass on what was told to me in the above answer “write what you know or I feel what you are passionate about.” If you love animals? Write an animal children’s book. If you have an open imagination? Write a thriller or mystery. An action or adventure story.

I am a writer and author “by accident,” Lol. So I feel funny giving other aspiring authors advice. I am a book promoter/marketer for many fine authors of all genres as well, so one piece of advice I can give to first-time authors?

Your book takes many hours, days, and months to promote. Book sales and book reviews will not happen overnight, so don’t give up or get discouraged. KEEP Writing and Promoting your books!


Q.  What are your current/future projects?

A.  I do have a couple of projects on am working on. My second book is almost complete and will be a follow up to my memoir and a helpful resource for starting recovery from gambling addiction on how to make their first year in recovery.

Another I have been working along time will be a stab at fiction! It is about a woman who is being chased by her “addiction demons” in recovery and takes a Lighthouse Keepers job on the North Oregon coast looking to start life over and for some solitude and serenity in her life. But her past comes calling! The rest you’ll have to read if I ever get it done! Lol.

Q.  Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?

A.  I actually added in my current book with the reasons “how and why” I came to start writing in the first place. It was about the suicide of a woman at a hotel and casino 41 miles North of my home in So. Oregon. I read about in our local newspaper. Reading it lit a fire in me to see all that my gambling addiction took from me. But, no spoilers here. LOL. You need to read my book titled; ‘Addicted To Dimes, Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat,’ which is now listed here on Author Shout, and available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books-a-Million.

Again, I write what I know ….Lol.
Balance is a challenge for me to fit my own writing time in as I promote for other authors. It is why it has taken me two years to get my next books done and published. So except for the compilation book, I am still a “one book wonder” at this point. Again, I sure do write a lot for several recovery publications and my own blogs.

Q.  What do you think is the future for independent authors and do you think it will continue to be easy for anyone to be a published author?

A.  I think we all know indie and self-published authors are changing the landscape of the “traditional” way authors get published these days. You no longer have to look to or be with a big publishing house anymore. Now, that is not to say they’re most likely are some self-published or indie books that may not be very appealing. (No offense to authors). As I have read a few myself and the authors are not writers, LOL.

However, there are awesome writers and authors producing some fantastic works and it is refreshing to see that all authors can now be noticed and praised for work well done! That is part of the change with being able to self-publish. I have promoted authors that were picked up and offered publishing contracts. So the traditional publishing houses are finding many good writers and authors. That is a great thing.

Q.  Are you traditional or self-published, and what process did you go through to get your book published?

A.  My current book was picked up by a publishing firm in So. Oregon where I used to live. But my publisher is a smaller independent publisher. I did, however, receive an awesome offer when it came to my royalty share. the Kodel Group are more like a “self-publish” helper. I had an editor and designer for my current book already, so they just did my format, typesetting, and upload through Amazon’s KDP Direct Publishing of my paperback and for my e-book.

Going this route was a more inexpensive way to publish. Nowadays most publishers won’t do any book promoting for authors unless you buy a publishing package, except they may send out a press release about the new book, so authors Beware…Be ready to set a budget to promote your books on your own. I do all my own book promoting throughout social media and PR releases through several PR services. Authors can promote for free at many book sites. There are many low-cost options to gain exposure, sales, and reviews. Just like doing advertising on “Author Shout” and others like awesomegang.com or bookgoodies.net …

Q.  Have you ever changed a title, book cover, or even the content of your book after it was published? What was that process like?

A.  No. The only change or difference that I made was to my book cover. I have two different covers that are the same, but my e-book cover has different colors. I wanted my e-book cover to have more vibrant Las Vegas catching colors. That was about the only change.

Q.  What opportunities have been presented to as an author you in sharing those memories? (i.e. travel, friends, events, speaking, etc..)

A.  Being a person of long-term recovery from gambling addiction and alcohol for almost 13- years now, publishing my book was my way of helping others with the problems as I had and was the only way I knew how to help others. By sharing my story in many ways like media, radio, and podcasts shares to others HOPE that they can recover from this cunning and devastating illness.

Many blessings and doors have opened for me to share my voice and writing and to have a platform to help inform, educate, and raise awareness of addicted and problem gambling. I want those who have never been touched by this addiction have more understanding and empathy for those who suffer. The opportunities that have come from people seeing and reading my book are have been many!

Being a former recovery columnist for a premier magazine called; “In Recovery Magazine.” I did many amazing interviews and articles of many high profile people who share their recovery as well and many have become friends and supporters of mine. I am now a writer for a premiere recovery newspaper out of So. California called; “Keys To Recovery Newspaper” and I am still an expert gambling addiction and recovery blogger “Addictionland” a platform to raise awareness and educate the public about problem gambling. I have a few more, but I am ‘humbled and thankful’ for all the opportunities that have come my way. These offerings help keep me in recovery as well.

Q.  What are your marketing, advertising, promotion strategies and which one(s) have worked the best for you? If you had to share your most valuable promotion tip, what would that be?

 

A.  Now this question is an easy answer! Lol.
Since I market, promote, and advertise books for many authors and my own book for living, authors can hire me for “done for you” set-up of social media places to be and a full-service plan that won’t break the bank here at “Lyon Media & Literary Services.”

I’ve been doing book promoting and marketing a long time and it doesn’t have to be costly. I do research often and keep up on the latest low-cost options and new media places too! I want to be able to help new authors learn ‘how and where’ to promote their books. Many of the sites to place book ads are free or you can do low-cost book ads or book promotions and giveaways.

There is no shortage of authors needing help as they continue to write more books, and why among other reasons why they hire me to promote their books.

My number one valuable tip? Layer your book ads when your book first releases. That way you will find and it will help build your readership through many book promo sites like Awesomegang.com or Bookgoodies.net . . . And Author Shout! Just a couple of my “go-to places.”

Q.  What field or genre would you classify your book(s) and what attracted you to write in that field or genre?

A.  My current book is a Memoir of my life with many topics discussed throughout which I mentioned above.

Q.  What do you do if inspiration strikes in an inconvenient place like (car, restaurant, bathroom/shower, etc..) and how do you capture that moment before it gets away from you?

A.  I carry a spiral notebook or my laptop with me everywhere I go!

 

Q.  Do you have a target amount of words/pages for each of your books or do you just know when enough is enough?

A.
  Now that I am working on books two and three, I am trying to keep both within 300 to under 500 pages. I also let my editor worry about that! Lol.

Q.  How do you think you have evolved as a person/author because of your writing and do you believe your writing has helped others, how/why?

A.  Yes. My writing has evolved so much since I wrote my first book. I feel the more you write, the better you get. Now that I am writing more as a profession as well, I have taken some webinars and use writing software to make sure I continue to become a more seasoned writer.

I would hope to think writing my book and my recovery blog for my book and where I continue to write my recovery journey in many publications helps others. We just never know who our story will touch or help. I wanted others who still suffer or are stuck in the “cycle” of gambling addiction that ‘Suicide Is Not An Option to Stop Gambling Addiction.’

Again, like the woman I had read about in my local newspaper. And like my own two failed suicide attempts when I was deep in my addiction. Suicide is never the answer.

Q.  Do you believe there is value in a Press Release, have you used any press release service, and what have your experiences been?

A.  Yes, I do feel a press release is very important and has value. Many first time authors can not afford mainstream advertising or hire a PR firm. So a press release sent out through PR websites is a stellar way to let people and literary media places know about your book and it’s release. I do them for my book promoting clients as some PR websites let you send a couple out for free.

A few I like and use are NPR, WEBPR.com, and NewswireToday.com are some good ones. I get some good results in books sales and book reviews.

Q.  Do you believe there is value in a review? Do you believe they are underrated, overrated, or don’t matter at all?

A.  Of course, there is value to book reviews for many reasons. Readers who shop for books, let us say on Amazon, they look and read reviews before they buy a book. I know as I do and I am an avid reader! Amazon emails me when someone reads a review I have placed and tells me it helped them decide to purchase.

Reviews on Amazon also helps your book’s rankings among other books in that genre. My book is still in the Top 100 in Paid Kindle E-books at #83 for Gambling Addiction Books. Rankings and tell us as authors how our books sell and compare to other books sold on Amazon. When a reader takes the time to write a review after they read my memoir, I use that as well if they leave suggestions to improve my craft as a writer.

Q.  What is your biggest fear about having a book published?

A.  This question goes back to how I answered your very First Question. I sat on my manuscript for almost a year because of fear. It is more difficult being afraid of how readers would react to my memoir as it is based on truth and is a real story and facts. I also had some fear about what my family would think even though I have been estranged from them for years. But I decided it wasn’t for or about them. My book was about healing and forgiveness for me and insight for readers.

Q.  What is the intended audience for your book?

A.  People in or reaching out to recover from gambling addiction, awareness of mental health, and those who had been sexually or physically abused, went through childhood trauma. Also for readers who want more understanding about these issues.

Q.  Do you find it easier to connect with your readers with the advances in technology we have today like social media? What platform do you prefer, and why?

A.  The Internet has changed not only the landscape of how authors can easily promote their books throughout social media, but the Internet has also changed how people can find information to get help from addiction and recovery support.

As a book promoter as my in-home business, the Internet has allowed me to work from home and make an income as I still have mental health challenges with Agoraphobia, Depression, and Mood Disorder, the internet has changed the way we do many things for school, work, and not just the bookselling and publishing industry.

Q.  What are some events you have attended or participated in that has been a positive experience/influence on/for your writing?

A.  Taking on paid writing jobs has boosted my self-confidence as a writer. That also helped me get the offer to be a columnist at “In Recovery Magazine.” And why I write for several other addiction/recovery publications. For me, it is two-fold. I become a better writer and I have great platforms to showcase my writing while helping others recover.

Q.  What are the most important elements of good writing? According to you, what tools are must-haves for writers?

A.  I really can’t answer this directly as my book was written very unconventionally. When I was writing at the time, I wasn’t writing a book. That all happened later on.
I do however recommend using some form of writing aide software which I do use.

Q.  Do you view writing as a career, labor of love, hobby, creative outlet, therapy, or something else?

A.  All of the above. Especially for therapy and a recovery outlet.

Q.  Were there any challenges (research, literary, psychological, or logistical) in bringing your book to life?

A.  None. Seriously. I had none as it all poured out and I just kept writing it all in my notebooks!

Q.  Do you proofread/edit your own books or do you send them off to an editor? If you send them off to an editor, who/what have you had the best experience with?

A.
  God created editors for a reason. Lol. My editor was Julie Hall. She works for our local newspaper in Grants Pass, Oregon. She isn’t an editor by profession. But she edits and proofreads for the newspaper. She had taken my six notebooks and performed “magic.” Then she sent the first 50 pages to a publisher friend of hers, and that is how my book made it to being published as Steve from The Kodel Group kept hounding me to publish as to help others!

Q.  What motivates you to write and where does your inspiration come from?

A.  For my recovery and helping others is what inspires me to write. If I can help others by sharing my story and experiences through words? That makes me happy. And what a living legacy to leave behind.

Q.  What is your most/least favorite part of the writing process, why?

A.  Since I do write a lot and for several publications, coming up with new topics to write about can be a challenge. Writing is very freeing to me. I enjoy it and hopefully continue writing and publishing more books to help others and for readers to also enjoy.

Q. Now lastly, If you had the chance to get one message out there to reach readers all over the world, what would that message be?

A.  A message of HOPE to others who suffer from addiction of any kind. We can recover no matter how bad or how far addiction has taken you. We all have that tiny sliver of light given by our Higher Power within us to turn our lives around if we want it bad enough. I have learned that recovery is possible and it works if you are willing to work for it. I will be a “work in progress” until my last breath, but the life lessons learned and wisdom gained has been well worth the RIDE!

 

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Books by Catherine Townsend-Lyon

 

      Ten the Hard Way: True Stories of Addiction and Recovery (Ten the Hard Way; True

Connect with more from Catherine Townsend-Lyon …

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I am Honored to Announce My New Author Interview With NF Reads. I Enjoy Writing.

NF READS ~ NFReads.com | Interesting Articles. Inspiring Stories.

I was honored and had the pleasure of being invited for an in-depth author interview by NFReads.com about my craft of writing, about why I wrote my book, about recovery life, and some other intriguing questions. I included and shared some book marketing tips for authors in the interview and shared about my long-term recovery as well.

I hope you will take some time to visit and read the Full Interview!

Interview with Author/Advocate, Catherine Townsend-Lyon

….
Addicted to Dimes (Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat)

“Books can come by imagination with vibrant storylines and characters. Come in many genres and about real life, or sometimes they come by way of a little “Divine Intervention” like my book.”   ~Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon 

…..

AND The Last Question Was?

Tell us some quirky facts about yourself?

Oh my. OK. I love dill pickle slices and mayo sandwiches. I am a cat lover with three therapy cats named, Mr. Boots, Miss Prissy Princess, and Simon-Peter. I love writing when it rains and will keep my door cracked and window open to hear it while writing even if it is 20 degrees outside!

Lastly? 

Well, after everything I’ve been through in my life up to now? GOD let me keep my sense of humor!


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56848129_657000964754004_2110962222527152128_n(A little fun and $$$$ Raised For Big Jim’s Ride 4 Addiction at The Arizona State Capitol Event as One of The Guest Speakers – April 10th, 2019) LOL!!