Monday, October 15, 2018

Grace by Daniel Kenner #roomforgrace @alwysroom4grace

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By Daniel Kenner 

I called my mom, Maureen Kenner, the day her obituary was published to see if she agreed with the tone, the accolades, the progression. She didn’t answer; which only seemed obvious after it went to voicemail. She died four weeks after my dad, Buddy Kenner, died. 
Mom chose “Grace” as her confirmation name and lived by that code. She spent her lifetime as a teacher working with the handicapped, elderly, and disenfranchised. She lived like the inspirational banners that adorned the bright walls of her Room 4 classroom and saw possibilities in every field trip, every circle in the sand, every Scattergories game, holiday song, night out for pizza and ice cream sundaes, every grandchild, niece, nephew, student, and family member.
But what is “grace?”
Is “grace” strength?
My father had frontotemporal lobe dementia and my mom, diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer only five months later, was his caregiver. She remained steadfast even when his disease prevented him from giving her the care she sought from a husband and partner.
Is “grace” poise? Their dreams of their retirement were never clouded with health issues. The life they worked toward was not there; it had changed past the point of recognizing. The reality of what they retired to was obvious.
Is “grace” the ability to trust, respect or remain optimistic? “Will I be ready in his time of need?” Mom worried about that all the time. “What will happen to him when something happens to me? What’s going to happen to me when something happens to him?” She worried that neither of them would be strong enough to keep their vows. She had such a strong sense of accomplishment for all they had achieved together, but it was clear that their happiest days were behind them.
It is said in the Book Of Job, “The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh, Blessed be the name of the Lord.” Maybe “grace” is found in delicate actions - when we are genuinely there for others, putting our neighbors before ourselves, sharing in their joys and trials. I know Mom found her joy and happiness in the joy and happiness of others. She’d say, “When you put others’ needs before your own, it is truly in giving that we receive.”
I believe Mom found her “grace” through her courageous ability to ask for and to receive help. For four years, our community rallied behind our family, nourishing us with daily visits, leis of orchids, origami cranes, handmade cards, gift boxes, songs, and signs on our lawn. As the seasons changed, our community remained inspired to do good for my family. They let their spirit grow and let it make a difference, unafraid to open themselves up to heartbreak and disappointment. When there was an abundance of pain, and the generosity of others powered my family through to live another day, that’s when I learned about “grace.”

About the Author

Daniel Kenner is the author of the newly published, Room For Grace. Daniel wrote Room For Grace after conducting an oral history with his mother, Maureen Kenner, on her thirtieth wedding anniversary. Through anecdotes and hard-earned lessons, Maureen tackles challenge after challenge and reframes daily struggles with a positive outlook allowing her to transcend and conquer mortal fears with dignity and room for grace. More information can be found at Room For Grace is partnering with different organizations and 10% of each book purchased will be donated. New organizations will be selected every 1,000 books sold! The first program Daniel has chosen to donate to is Eye to Eye. Eye to Eye began in Maureen Kenner’s Room 4. The program chiseled through structure and uncovered a remarkably beautiful approach into a child’s life. Once a week the members of Eye to Eye talked openly about learning disabilities. Maureen always remembered when a mentor revealed he had spent most of third grade in the bathroom. He had figured out when it would be his turn to read and, embarrassed by his dyslexia, went to the bathroom to hide out. Another positive aspect Maureen loved about Eye to Eye was the classroom-based mentoring. They college students would come and work with her “Lego” kids, the kids who saw the world in a mechanically different way, who thought outside of the box, who could build things with their hands. Maureen’s students were mentored and followed through middle school, high school and onto college. Eye to Eye's mission is to improve the life of every person with a learning disability. They fulfill their mission by supporting and growing a network of youth mentoring programs run by and for those with learning differences, and by organizing advocates to support the full inclusion of people with learning disabilities and ADHD in all aspects of society. Mentors talk openly and bravely about their experiences. Mentees realize they are not alone, sometimes for the very first time. They see someone who was once just like they are today. More importantly, they see someone they hope to be tomorrow. 

Daniel Kenner rocked out to Bob Dylan’s “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” while other infants sang “Mary Had A Little Lamb.” A proud member of Actor’s Equity, SAG-AFTRA, and National Players Tour 60, Daniel was a Presidential Arts Scholar at George Washington University and Scholarship recipient at The British American Drama Academy. Directed the Washington D.C. premier of Sarah Kane’s Crave. Author of the manuscript, Roux. Winner of the Rhode Island Playwriting Festival for his World War II letters home drama, Fields of Sacrifice. Adapted Les Misérables for high school stages.
Maureen Kenner’s heart was in the classroom. For thirty-five years she was a Special Education teacher in the Providence Public Schools. Born and raised in Dobbs Ferry, New York, Maureen graduated from Rhode Island College with a degree in education and later earned a Master’s Degree from Providence College. Maureen was a vital influence at the Vartan Gregorian Elementary School at Fox Point, working tirelessly as a mentor for the betterment of all children and their families. Honored with many accolades throughout her career, Maureen was awarded Providence Teacher of the Year in 2003. Living with cancer, as a model patient, Maureen exemplified integrity, courage, grace, and hope. For thirty-one years, through sickness and health, Maureen was the beloved soul mate to the late Jacob “Buddy” Kenner, her intense love recognized in 2016 as a Rhode Island Caregiver of the Year.



About the Book:

Author: Daniel Kenner & Maureen Kenner
Publisher: Silver Boot Imprints
Pages: 200
Genre: Memoir & Biography


Stage 4 cancer for her and a debilitating disease for her husband: life crashed down in an instant. Maureen Kenner found resilience, however, in the lessons she learned from her Special Ed students in Providence, RI. Her students lived with their hearts opened despite struggles of the highest magnitude. Through these students, Maureen gains courage, humor, and the strength of spirit to face her devastating realities, head on. Maureen’s oral history was captured by her son Daniel who tenderly wrought this book out of their recorded conversations. Through anecdotes and hard-earned lessons, Maureen tackles challenge after challenge and reframes daily struggles with a positive outlook allowing her to transcend and conquer mortal fears with dignity and room for grace.


"Maureen Kenner was one of those people who brightened every room she entered. Thanks to Room for Grace, that light is not extinguished. Although her story shares great sadness, Room for Grace is a book of hope and a celebration of life that sheds Maureen’s light on us all."

—Ann Hood, Author of The Obituary Writer and The Red Thread

“In these pages, you will find a story like no other. Maureen’s story is one of courage and love, a story that will move you to your core.”

—David Flink, Chief Empowerment Officer, Eye to Eye

“The piercing light of Maureen’s compassion, love and intelligence, will leave every reader wanting to reach out in the spirit of service and live life to the fullest.”

—Annie Lanzillotto, Author of Hard Candy: Caregiving, Mourning, and Stagelight

“Buddy Kenner was a big-hearted teacher, universally beloved by all, a warrior for the arts and their importance in the curriculum. Amazing and unique guy. Read this book.”

Tom Chandler, Rhode Island Poet Laureate Emeritus



Wednesday, October 10, 2018

10 Things You Might Not Know About Marian L. Thomas @marianlthomas01 #10Things

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Award-Winning Author and Speaker, Marian L. Thomas, has penned five engaging novels to date. Her books have been seen on national television stations such as the Oprah Winfrey Network, Ovation, and the A&E Network. She has been featured in print magazines, newspapers and a guest on local, national and online radio stations. For her book, I Believe In Butterflies, Marian ranked among the top 100 Most Popular Authors in Literary Fiction on Amazon. She spent most of her teen years in Oak Park, Illinois, but now resides in a suburb of Atlanta with her husband. She enjoys a good bag of popcorn, a plate full of pasta, and a grape pop.



10 Things You Might Not Know About Marian L. Thomas

1.      I love popcorn. When my husband wants ‘peace’ in the house, he brings me home a big bag.
2.      When I’m writing, my husband is usually snoring. I tend to write, late at night.
3.      I’m married. My husband and I celebrated 19 years on September 25, 2018.
4.      My name, Marian, comes from the first names (Mary and Ann) of my now deceased grandmothers.
5.      I wrote a children’s book, The Things Sasha Learned From Her Dog Winston after my dog of 14 years (Winston) passed away. It was my mother’s idea but helped to deal with the loss.
6.      My second favorite food, popcorn being the first, is pasta. However, pizza comes very close with a good can of grade pop.
7.      I got the idea to write my first book, Color Me Jazzmyne, while in high school. It was my sophomore year, and I was in the library walking up a flight of stairs to find a book.
8.      Paris, Hawaii, and Spain are on my travel wish list.
9.      When I was young, I hated vegetables. Still not a fan. My sister and I would feed our vegetables to our dog. He, of course, was the healthiest dog on the block.
10.  When asked if I have any advice for aspiring authors, my answer is always...Live, Laugh and Write. In that order.

About the Book:

Author: Marian L. Thomas
Publisher: L.B. Publishing
Pages: 307
Genre: Women’s Fiction

Who Would Think That One Act of Love Could Affect Four Generations?
On December 29, 1930, Mildred "Millie" Mayfield gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Addie. Millie teaches Addie three things that she feels matters most in life; inner beauty, reading books and giving your “special something’ only to the man you marry. Addie lives up to the first two. On one autumn night in 1949, Addie falls for the irresistible red curls and vibrant green eyes of a young man from the other side of the railroad tracks. Neither knowing that the consequences of their love would have lasting effects. Known as one of the greatest white jazz pianists in New York, Timmy Taylor never had a reason to question his identity – until truth and betrayal strike. Will Timmy be able to push past the pain? Beautiful and talented, Nina Taylor inherited her father's gift, but not his looks. Certain that's how he made it big, she dives deep into an obsession that could be deadly. Will Nina learn to love the skin she’s in before it’s too late? Spanning from 1920 to 1996, this captivating tale of secrets, betrayal, and forgiveness will pull at the strings of your heart, and keep you turning pages while you pray for a happy ending.


Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Code Blue: An Oath to the Badge and Gun Series by Jamell Crouthers #guest @aquarianmind1

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Code Blue: An Oath to the Badge and Gun Series

By Jamell Crouthers

The Code Blue Series somehow became something bigger than me. The best way to describe it is looking at the world now and what’s going on, on the police force. I started to question what good cops are feeling in a position where they’re forced into upholding their badge than their own morals and values.

When I decided to write about Gary, I knew I had to take race out of the picture when it came to him and who he was. In my mind, I had to say, let’s focus on the racism in America between police officers and black and Latino men. What is not discussed is how there are black and Latino police officers who are racist against their own too. It’s not just white cops versus black and Latino men. 

There was a need to address that in my books but in the midst of it, you’re trying to figure out what race Gary is. The reality is no matter what race Gary is or you choose to make him, any police officer who commits the wrongs that I write about in my books, there’s a lack of upholding the oath you took to protect and serve the community. It becomes follow agendas and doing what you’re told regarding black and latino men.

We lose a sense of the things that are constantly going on because it doesn’t happen to us. It’s a mentality of, “if it doesn’t happen to me, I’m good.” Well...until it does and by that point it’s too late in addressing the constant issues that are going on in our communities daily. Gary is the good cop who’s caught in a lot of things he never thought he would be.

The community he grew up in and decided to serve and protect has become a city of turmoil. I felt I had to incorporate him having a child because there’s always someone looking up to you and this is the prime example of it. Gary, Jr. is an innocent child who doesn’t know the atrocities of the world until he starts watching the news at night and seeing his father at crime scenes and wanting answers.

There was a need to make Gary, Jr. the smart, intuitive child who is keen to what’s going on around him. That forces Gary to fess up to his wrongdoings and admit that he’s part of the cover ups, corruption and lies. It makes him realize he’s a hypocrite in teaching his child to being honest and doing the right things when he isn’t doing it himself.

The relationship between them is constant throughout the series with a plethora of letters written to each other. I thought of doing emails or phone calls but I wanted to go old school with their communication before technology engulfed and infiltrated our daily lives. It’s a relationship that becomes tumultuous and Gary ends up losing the two most important people in his life, his wife and his son because he’s so engulfed in a job that’s made its way into their home. 

The series takes a lot to write because I want to make sure I’m addressing the corruption while keeping Gary’s thoughts and feelings in it. It’s a hard battle and also writing it to where it’s believable, truthful and Gary is someone you can relate to. He’s a combination of a protagonist and antagonist and it’s something that isn’t done often in stories. This is to make you think about how many good cops who want to do the right thing, this is a job that want to do but you are forced into this brotherhood of keeping the lies, secrets and corruption among themselves. 

My goal with this series is to not only make you think and realize what’s going on in America daily, but to also put you in a police officer’s shoes as he/she pounds the pavement everyday. Are there good cops, definitely. But there’s also the bad ones and the biggest problem is the good ones aren’t exposing the bad ones, afraid of the backlash, losing their careers, their paychecks and pensions which is one of the first things I address in the beginning of Part 1.

Hopefully you all understand and realize that there’s a lot that has to be done to make society a better place. The battle is exposing it all from what goes on in the streets to inside of the precincts and corporate offices in America. It’s up to us to get things right and remember it all starts with the guys in suits and then it trickles down to the police departments. 

Code Blue 1-3 is available on all major bookstores (Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, iTunes and Scribd). Parts 4 and 5 release December 2018 to finish the series. 

About the Author

Jamell Crouthers is a poet, author, blogger and podcaster who has taken on a journey of writing in the prime of his life. He has been writing poetry since the age of 13 but never thought he could utilize his talent to tell stories and write books. He is not the traditional author as he writes his books in poetry format with a focus on storylines and societal issues.

After publishing 11 books (so far), his goals and plans are to continue writing books on taboo subjects that aren't discussed enough in today's world and bringing those main subjects to the forefront. Jamell's blogs tackle societal issues, how he writes his books, his journey as an author and some motivational blogs that will get you to focus on your goals. His goal and moniker is, "to change the world, one book at a time."

Jamell’s Code Blue series can be purchased at Amazon.

Website Address:
Blog Address:
Facebook Address:

About the Series:

The Code Blue: An Oath to the Badge and Gun series chronicles a police officer named Gary who has been on the force for a few years. He soon is entrenched in a lot of lies, corruption, racism and agendas being pushed by his superiors. The question throughout this series is whether he as a good cop becomes part of the corruption or does he report it?

Part of this series features his son Gary, Jr who is a young teenager wanting to be like his father and go into the police force. He soon learns through the news daily that the police force is not what it really is. Gary ends up having to share the truths of what goes on at work and the relationship between him and his son changes because of it. Now it becomes up to Gary what he is going to do about what goes on at work.

Author: Jamell Crouthers
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 87
Genre: Poetry prose/literary fiction


Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Author: Jamell Crouthers
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 89
Genre: Poetry prose/literary fiction


Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Author: Jamell Crouthers
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 99
Genre: Poetry prose/literary fiction


Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Interview with Nancy Gray, Author of 'Spine Chillers: Big Bad Wolf'

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Ten Things You Might Not Know About Nancy Gray

By Nancy Gray

1. Nancy Gray has been writing for ten years. She has a young adult fantasy trilogy called Blood Rain. The series was inspired by a very strange but true story about a storm raining blood on North Carolina in the 1850s. After reading about this story she had a dream about a blood splattered lighthouse which also compelled her to write. The setting in the beginning of the book was also inspired by the video game Bethesda’s Morrowind.

2.     2. Nancy Gray has been married for thirteen years. She has two young children. She lives in South Carolina and is partial to cats. Her family comes first over her writing, but she writes whenever she can.

3.      3. Nancy is a big fan of Japanese animation, or “anime.” She also reads manga. Her favorite series right now is The Ancient Magus Bride because she loves the setting and characters. She is also a fan of Darling in the Franxx but enjoys many different styles, everything from Sailor Moon to Dragon Ball Super.

4.      4. Nancy is a gamer. She loves table top role-playing games such as Dungeons and Dragons. She is both a game master and a player. She’s written many stories inspired by characters that she’s played, but none of these have been published. Writing character backgrounds is something she enjoys doing in between writing novels.

5.      5. Nancy Gray is a video game fan. Her favorites are Skyrim, Kingdom Hearts, Final Fantasy Tactics, Fire Emblem, and many different Mario games. She also enjoys World of Warcraft and plays it casually whenever possible. (She plays a combination of Alliance and Horde.)

6.      6. Nancy Gray loves to read. She has read hundreds of books over the years. Her favorite genres are horror, gothic horror, fantasy, steampunk, and urban fantasy. These are also the genres that she prefers to write the most, but she has been known to occasionally try her hand at cyberpunk and the blending of cyberpunk with gothic horror.

7.      7. Nancy Gray got her start from writing short stories for anthologies. Her short horror story "Hemophobia" was published in 2006 in the short story anthology Courting Morpheus.  This story was written under the pen name "Angela Gray."  Her short horror story "Sleep Like the Dead" appeared in the New Bedlam Project Webzine under her current name “Nancy Gray.”  In 2012 it was put into a compilation of stories from the e-zine called New Bedlam: Town Archives Volume 2. In 2010 her short science fiction story "Marrow" appeared in the anthology Deep Space Terror.  This anthology is a smooth blending of the science fiction and horror genres. In 2014 her short fantasy story "Chosen" appeared in the anthology  Jim Henson's The Dark Crystal Author Quest: a Penguin Special from Grosset & Dunlap.  The anthology consists of the top 5 stories from the Dark Crystal Author Quest Contest.

8.      8. Nancy Gray went through many phases before she became a writer. She wanted to be an animator for Disney, a puppeteer for the Jim Henson Company, a veterinarian, a marine biologist, an artist, and finally a graphic designer. After much deliberation, she decided to go to the University of South Carolina and acquired a BA in Media Arts and a cognate in English. She got several jobs as a graphic designer but eventually decided to stay at home and pursue her writing career.

9     9. Halloween is Nancy Gray’s favorite holiday. She decorates her house thoroughly and dresses in costume every year and throws a very large Halloween Party. Horror movies are played in the living room and the game Rock Band is played in the back of the house. She has a large group of friends that she made in college and usually has a pretty large group of people who attend. (She does throw an annual pot luck Christmas Party as well, with Christmas movies and sometimes Rock Band, but that doesn’t tend to be as wild as it is a religious holiday for her.)

110.  Nancy Gray is an artist and enjoys painting, drawing, and making sculptures from clay. She doesn’t have as much time with her new writing career to pursue these things, but occasionally she still enjoys them. Her favorite place to go is the beach and she generally feels inspired to write, draw, and read when she’s there when isn’t playing in the sand or water with her girls.

About the Author

Nancy Gray has published a number of works including her middle grade series Spine Chillers. She also published her YA fantasy series Blood Rain. Her short story “Chosen” appeared in Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal Author Quest: a Penguin Special from Grosset & Dunlap. Her work also appears in various anthologies.

Nancy Gray has been writing for over ten years. Gray lives in South Carolina with her husband and two daughters. She enjoys books, video games, anime, manga, and horror.
Her latest book is the mid-grade horror, Spine Chillers: Big Bad Wolf.



About the Book:
Author: Nancy Gray
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 112
Genre: Middle Grade Horror

Jane is ecstatic when she gets the role of Red Riding Hood in her school play, but she didn’t realize that they’d be using the stuffed wolf prop as the Big Bad Wolf. That tattered old prop has always scared her and, lately, she has been having strange dreams about it that make it seem like it’s something more.
Jane will have to get help to save herself from the hungry spirit that has haunted her people and her nightmares before it consumes her, or worse, escapes the prison of the last creature it took to sate its horrible appetite.



Tuesday, October 2, 2018

10 things You Might Not Know About Our Secret Powers by Terje Gerotti Simonsen

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Terje Gerotti Simonsen
Terje G. Simonsen is an author with a Ph.D. in the History of Ideas. He has increasingly focused his attention on the esoteric and occult traditions and on paranormal phenomena, as telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition, telekinesis, healing etc. Recently he published the highly acclaimed Our Secret Powers, based on his extraordinary knowledge within this field. Elegantly and with great personal wit and insight, he discusses parapsychological phenomena such as telepathy, clairvoyance, and precognition. Several of the world’s most renowned experts on the paranormal has praised Simonsen’s work: The bestselling parapsychologist, Dean Radin, PhD, chief scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, says: ‘As an encyclopedic introduction to the psychic side of the fascinating but puzzling domain known as the paranormal, there is no better choice than Our Secret Powers.” And Stanley Krippner, PhD, expert on hypnosis, shamanism and altered states of consciousness, former leader of two departments in the American Psychological Association, says: “This is an outstanding book and it deserves all the attention it can get. Not only is Our Secret Powers a book for all seasons, it is a book for all reasons!’”

10 things You Might Not Know About Our Secret Powers

1)  That Our Secret Powers not only describes the abilities of others but may also (cannot be guaranteed, though!) help you getting in touch with your own psychic powers?

2) That the book could give you new and liberating perspectives by giving you a series of gentle nudges and hints on who you, and we all, really are?

3) That it will tell you how Cleopatra’s sunken palace was discovered (spoiler alert: with the help of clairvoyance!)

4) That it will give you the essential facts about the American military’s program for developing psychic spies? (and that this is by no means yesterday’s fake news or conspiracy-theories!)

5) That the book is written for all you beautiful folks with an inquiring mind, irrespective of religious and philosophical orientation, bridging the divide between believers and skeptics. (The Norwegian editor advising the author on his way is herself a ‘moderate skeptic.’)

6) That it is one of the most versatile introductions to paranormal phenomena ever written, applying perspectives from history, archaeology, anthropology, psychology, psychiatry, philosophy, pop-culture. Still it is an easy-going good-read! (a combination which is close to paranormal…)

7) That it is the first Norwegian book ever on the subject to be published internationally

8) That it was released in English by Pari Publishing, a small indie-house co-founded by quantum-physicist F. David Peat, the closest colleague of the great David Bohm, a colleague of Albert Einstein. Peat also worked together with Roger Penrose, a colleague of Stephen Hawking. (The author is both humble and proud to have been allowed faintly to touch the garment of so much genius…)

9) That it is endorsed by 6 of the world’s greatest experts on the paranormal: Stanley Krippner, Dean Radin, Stephan A. Schwartz, Etzel Cardeña, Adrian Parker and Jeffrey Kripal.

10) That the notorious bestselling parapsychologist, Dean Radin, explicitly has said that as an intro to psychic abilities ‘there is no better choice than Our Secret Powers.’

About the Book:

Author: Terje Gerotti Simonsen
Publisher: Pari Publishing
Pages: 528
Genre: Nonfiction/Spiritual/Consciousness/Paranormal

Is the paranormal normal?
Many readers will be surprised when learning that reputable scientists, among them several Nobel laureates, have claimed that telepathy is a reality. Their curiosity will increase when reading that both Cleopatra’s lost palace and Richard III’s burial place were recovered by means of clairvoyance. And some will think it to be sheer science fiction when finding out about Stargate––the espionage program where the American military and CIA for 20 years engaged in the development of psychic spies!
Simonsen, a Norwegian historian of ideas, introduces an array of entertaining paranormal tales from history, archaeology, anthropology and psychology, and presents scientific research that has provided fascinating results. He argues that the stories we hear about telepathy, clairvoyance and precognition ought not to be dismissed as superstition
In step with spiritual and occult traditions, the author suggests that consciousness is not limited to our own head. Rather he thinks that all humans (and perhaps all living beings) are linked together in a “Mental Internet.’ Via this network we may exchange ‘telepathic emails’ with friends and family and make clairvoyant ‘downloads’ of information.  Thus perhaps what we usually call ‘supernatural’ is completely natural but little understood communications via this Mental Internet?

Our Secret Powers gives us a thoughtful and engaging presentation of a controversial subject and would make an excellent travel companion.

Watch the Trailer!



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