We are Falling in Love with David Ruggerio

We are Falling in Love with David Ruggerio

Author and professional chef David Ruggerio is a man of many talents. He can cook and tell a love story like none other. What a dreamboat! We had to learn more about his newest novel Say Goodbye and Goodnight.

What makes your book a must-read? 

With COVID, protest, and quarantine, God knows we need a little loving. This book, Say Goodbye and Goodnight, will transport you back to the 1977-disco baby! -and experience a romance that will make your summer. 

If you could give your book to one celebrity, who would it be and why? 

That’s easy, John Travolta. Saturday Night Fever came out the same year, 1977, and he would appreciate the music, the scenes, and the great dialogue! 

If you could give your book to one singer/musician, who would it be and why? 

Another easy one! I have to offer up two singers. First, Frankie Vali. His theme song for Grease came out in 1978, and I can tell you, Brooklyn, partied to that music late into the night! Second would be Barry Gibb. The lone Gibb brother left; his music created instant romance in the air. During those hot nights on the beaches of Coney Island, the Bee Gees music echoed over to the shores of New Jersey. His lyrics told us all how to love a woman; his music is timeless. 

If your book was turned into a film/TV show, who would you tap to play the lead(s)? Why? 

Thomas Barbusca, he’s an Italian-American actor who has the look! He’s born in New Jersey (we’ll forgive him), he fits the part perfectly. 

Tell us something about you that no one else knows. 

As a youth, I had been arrested six times by the time I was ten. My uncle, Eddie Gavin, a great fighter in his own right, grabbed me by the collar. “Do you think you’re a tough guy?” He dragged me down to the gym, and a marriage made in heaven was created. I became a fighter. The gym I depict in the book is taken from my memories of Izzy Zerling’s Youth Center on Church Avenue in Brooklyn. In fact, the inspiration for the trainer in the book was also based on my trainer/manager- Izzy Zerling. Between amateur and pro, I fought 116 fights in the ring. I loved every moment of it! What three books are on your To Be Read list this summer? 

Full Count by David Cone (Huge Yankee fan) 

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (love horror!) 

SPQR by Mary Beard (Huge history buff!) 

Recommend a book from another author. Why should people read this book? 

Sea Stories by Admiral William H McRaven. If you think life is tough and it presents obstacles, his memoir will put everything in perspective.   

Recommend a book that is similar to yours. If people like X, then they’ll love your book because…  

Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín. It is also a romance based in the County of Kings. There is something about growing up in the streets of Brooklyn. Both my book and Tóibín’s has one thing in common. If you’re not from there, you will experience the fun, the excitement, and the tragedies of the kids and their families who lived there during the most tumultuous period of the twentieth century. When you have to fight each and every day, you come to appreciate what life offers, and when romance presents itself, it is epic! 

What advice do you have for other writers? 

Your memories are a treasure trove just waiting to be put onto paper. Write from the heart. 

What was the hardest part of writing your book?  

I’m not going to give away the book, but there were tragic occurrences in my life that I base part of the book on,=. Those parts were tough for me to write; it was like reliving the event all over again. 

What is the core message you want to deliver to the world through your writing/books/stories? 

Never give up; no matter what life throws at you, keep moving forward. The presentence will overcome evil. 

Meat or Veggies?

 Meat 

The beach or the mountains?

 Ha! Love them both! 

Horseback riding or ATV? 

Horseback 

Cats or dogs? 

Dogs! 

Ninjas or pirates? 

Pirates 

Zombies or aliens? 

Neither 

Alice in Wonderland or Lord of the Flies? 

Lord of the Flies 

Coachella or Broadway? 

Broadway 

Selfie or group photo? 

Group photo 

Hardcover book or Kindle?

 Hardcover book! 

Chess or Candy Crush? 

Chess 

Paris or New York? 

Wow! Paris! 

Stephen King or Shakespeare? 

Stephen King, sacrilegious? 

Alfredo or Bolognese?

 Bolognese 

Order your copy of Goodbye and Goodnight on Amazon now!

Author Ryan Southwick tells us ALL about his Fantasy Book

Author Ryan Southwick tells us ALL about his Fantasy Book

Angels in the Mist by author Ryan Southwick is unlike any Sci-Fi book you’ve read before. Southwick created a world of androids, cyborgs and ancient evil hellbent on distruction. We were captivated by this pageturner and wanted to learn more. Southwick gave us some insight into his personal thoughts:  

Q What makes your book series a must-read?

It provides a unique spin on several fantasy / science fiction concepts, and blends them in a seamless, realistic manner, with unforgettable characters, lots of action, and a protagonist worth rooting for. 

Q What is something interesting/cool/unbelievable you discovered while researching your book? 

When researching the PTSD portion, the thing that surprised me the most was how many people stepped forward and told me they’d had similar experiences to the protagonist—some frighteningly so. It’s forged bonds I wouldn’t have had otherwise. 

Q If you could give your book to one singer/musician, who would it be and why? 

Weezer. Love his music, and he seems quirky enough to dig it (assuming he likes reading…) 

Q Tell us something about you that no one else knows. 

I love quiche. (There, I said it. I’m a quiche eater!) 

Q Recommend a book that is similar to yours. If people like X, then they’ll love your book because… 

That’s tough; I wrote this book because I couldn’t find one like it. =] I just asked my wife the same question, who’s a voracious reader. She just shrugged and told me, “That’s what you get for writing something unique.” 

Q What advice do you have for other writers? 

Don’t be afraid of small publishers. They can fill in a lot of the blanks that may otherwise take a long time to do yourself, especially if you’re not technical. But definitely do your research before signing the contract (mine is great). 

Q Your genre of book is popular right now, why do you think that is? 

Urban fantasy is easy to absorb and identify with because it happens in today’s world. It takes concepts and settings familiar to everyone, which makes it accessible, then adds a splash of something extraordinary to spice it up. 

Q What book made you cry and why? 

Ryan Southwick

Leah Braun’s Sex on Fire. She tells her tale without pulling many punches. Not only did I feel terrible for her, imagining my daughters in that same situation was enough to bring tears to my eyes. Wonderful book, can’t recommend it enough. 

Q What is something you’ve always wanted to try but are afraid to. 

Hang gliding. Some of the best hang gliding in the entire country is in Pacifica—like 2 miles from my house—but jumping off a cliff with just a flimsy piece of cloth and at the mercy of the wind… *shudder* 

Rapid Fire Questions and Answers

Guardians of the Galaxy or XMen? 

Guardians of the Galaxy 

The beach or the mountains? 

Mountains 

Formal attire or yoga pants and a hoodie? 

Formal attire 

Kanye West or Taylor Swift? 

Taylor Swift 

Ninja or pirates? 

Ninja 

Marvel or DC?

 Marvel 

Zombies or aliens? 

Aliens 

Bugs Bunny or Micky Mouse? 

Bugs! 

The 1920s or the 2020s? 

1920s 

Chess or Candy Crush? 

Chess 

Invisibility or flying? 

Flying 

Hawaii or the Alps? 

Hawaii 

New York or Tokyo? 

Tokyo 

Hippies or hipsters? 

Hippies 

Thor or Hulk? 

Thor 

Stephen King or Shakespeare? 

Stephen King 

E.L. James or J.K. Rowling? 

J.K. Rowling 

Sparkling vampires or non-sparkling vampires? 

Non-sparkling. 

Saving the world or watching it burn? 

Saving the world 

Interview with John A. Dracup, PhD, author of Clean Water for Developing Countries

Interview with John A. Dracup, PhD, author of Clean Water for Developing Countries

When we first came upon this book we were drawn in by the smiling face of a little girl playing in fresh, clean water. We often forget that water is a resource that is needed for survival, but many countries continue to struggle with clean water. It’s not someone else’s job to fix this, anyone can help, and author Dracup tells us exactly how in his latest book, Clean Water for Developing Countries.

Q. If you could give your book to one celebrity/scientist/politician, who would it be and why?

Celebrity:   Matt Damon, who is the Co-founder of Water.org.   This organization funds clean water projects all over the world. 

Q. What was your inspiration to write Clean Water for Developing Countries?

1. I spent my career as a professor at UCLA and at the University of California, Berkeley, doing research and teaching water resource engineering, environmental engineering and hydrology.    This experience led me to appreciate the need for clean water throughout the world.  I joined Rotary International,  a humanitarian organization because of its commitment to providing water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) to those in need around the world.  I have worked on Rotary International clean water projects in Kenya, Peru, Honduras and Guatemala, all of which are featured in my book.

2. I have been very fortunate and blessed throughout my life and working on clean water projects in developing countries and writing this book are a means of giving back to those who have not been as fortunate.     

Q. Give us some key points that everyone must know when reading your book.

1.  Anyone coming into a village or a community must work with the local populations to solve the problem of providing clean water.  If it does not already exist, a local water committee must be formed, with representatives from all those concerned.   

2.  The problem of providing clean water to developing countries can be solved.  We have the knowledge and the technology to turn the most polluted water into clean water.  It only takes determination and funding for those who know how to do this. 

3.  By following the procedures laid out in this book, individuals with a wide range of backgrounds can work on and solve this problem in communities throughout all developing countries.

Q. Can you tell us three fun facts you discovered while writing your book?

John A. Dracup PhD

1. A helicopter trip over much of Guatemala, looking for potential sites where clean water may be needed in a community,  is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. 

2.  A three hour boat ride to Remba Island, Lake Victoria, Kenya, can be a harrowing experience as the waves can be six feet in height. 

3.  Custom officers in Nairobi collect a 10% tariff on all gifts coming into the country.  However, I found out that a single tee shirt with Barak Obama’s picture on it would suffice as the tax. 

Q. You’re obviously passionate about clean water, what other issues do you wish to help solve?

Two issues come to mind:

  1.  Education in developing countries is an important issue.  Clean water allows children to go to school more often as they are free from diseases.  But the schools must be funded and supported by the local and federal governments.
  2. Two million people throughout the world live on less than $2.00 per day.  Economic equity is essential for peace and the elimination of conflicts in the world. 

Q. Have you visited the developing countries in need of water, if so, what was that experience like?

I have worked on clean water projects in Kenya, Peru, Honduras and Guatemala.  In Kenya, on Remba Island,  which is in Lake Victoria,  after three years of installation the clean water systems became operative.  Women from all over the Island came to get clean water.  They left with the water-filled jerrycans on top of their heads and smiles on their faces. 

All of these projects were a marvelous experience and it was a pleasure to work on them.

Q. What is the core message you want to deliver to the world through your book?

Drinking polluted water causes over a million deaths worldwide each year due to water- borne diseases, such as typhoid and cholera.   These deaths are easily avoided.  We have the knowledge and the technology to clean the most polluted water.   We just need the determination and the funding to do so.    

Author J.M. Kelly has Published the Next Big Mystery Series For All Ages

Author J.M. Kelly has Published the Next Big Mystery Series For All Ages

After working with school aged kids for the last 35 years, J.M. Kelly wrote the next big book series for children and young adults. The Bobby Homes Mystery Series is the Harry Potter for the next generation. The first book, The Lost Treasure, and the second book, Monster on the Moors are available now. Readers can’t get enough and compare it to Sherlock Holmes meets Stranger Things.

As one reviewer says, ” “This book was creepy and thrilling and totally enthralling. I felt like I was there in person and shivered multiple times though out reading this book. Kelly does an amazing job setting the scene and making this world seem real. Couldn’t get enough.” — Erin Haggerty, NetGalley

Here’s more about J.M. Kelly in our exclusive interview:

Q. If you could give your book to one celebrity, who would it be and why?

A. An obvious choice would be Stephen King, for he is the master of the macabre. But, as I often see a strong correlation between books and film when I read, I’d like to provide a copy to Guillermo Del Toro, Sam Raimi, and Jordan Peale, all of whom bring horror to life in unique ways.

Q. Who is your biggest writing inspiration?

A. My wife, hands down. For the sole reason of her unequivocal support.

Q. Give us the scoop about your book.

A. Monster on the Moors is a horror thriller that takes place in the eerie North York Moors of England. Clairvoyant Bobby Holmes, his American cousin Brenda Watson, and their friends, wise guy Stevie and Michael (who is challenged by Asperger Syndrome), are drawn into a deadly mystery. They are hunted by an ancient wolf creature controlled by evil witches of British lore. When one of their friends is captured, they must rely on the investigations of a librarian who is more than he seems, the mystical gifts of a gypsy king, a mysterious stranger at the center of it all, and their own wits in a desperate race to save their friend and come out alive.

Q. Can you tell us three fun facts about you?

J.M. Kelly

A. I’m the second oldest of ten children. I spent 35 years in education as a middle school teacher and a school Principal. I started my writing career after my education career and have since written three novels and one professional book.

Q. If your book was turned into a film/TV show, who would you tap to play the lead(s)? Why?

A. Not my call and wouldn’t have a clue. I’d leave that to the professionals, although I’d have to say, Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher was a huge mistake.

Q. What’s one secret about you that you’ll share with the world?

A. I sustained a spinal cord injury at the age of 37 that left me an incomplete quad. Nonetheless, I received the NJ State Principal and Supervisor’s award for Principal of the Year for Inspirational Leadership in 2007, and have enjoyed my entire writing career since.

Q. What is the core message you want to deliver to the world through your writing/books/stories?

A. Never give up and respect and enjoy our differences. Another important message is to suffer the children…they know stuff adults long ago closed their eyes to.

Rapid Fire Questions and Answers

Q. Morning person or night owl?

A. Morning person, always.

Q. Reading or writing?

A. Reading, you need it to be a good writer.

Q. Kittens or puppies?

A. Dogs, dogs, dogs


Q. The city or the country?

A. Country.


Q. Road trip or Cruise ship?

A. Road trip, for the possibilities.

Q. Wine or beer?


A. Wine.


Q. Karaoke or bowling?

A. Neither.


Q. The ability to fly or invisibility?

A. Flying.

Q. Selfie or group photo?

A. Group, more fun.


Q. Love story or scary story?

A. Scary all the way.


Q. Bacon or Tofu?

A. Is that even a choice? Bacon.

Sheryl Benko – Everything You Need to Know

Sheryl Benko – Everything You Need to Know

Author Sheryl Benko is well known in the media industry. She has worked on over thirty films amongst the titles are the Acedemy Award winning blockbusters, “TITANIC,” Quentin Tarantino’s “INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS,” Kenneth Branagh’s “THOR,” for Marvel Films, Oliver Stone’s “SAVAGES,” and the Jon Favreau hit, “CHEF.”  Wow, impressive!

Sheryl is currently working on dual projects, serving as the Post Production Supervisor for the upcoming feature “UNCLE FRANK” which just premiered at Sundance. She is also working on “DON’T LOOK DEEPER”. We can’t wait to check them out!

Her love of movies is expressed through writing screenplays and producing and directing short films. Becoming an author has been an interesting transition for her with her first novel “The Last of Will”. We just HAD to learn more about this new book from this impressive media superstar!

Q. If you could give your book to one celebrity, who would it be and why? 

Octavia Spencer.  I had the pleasure of working with her on two movies years ago, and she is one of the kindest, warmest people I have ever met.  When writing the character of Helen, it was Octavia’s voice that I always heard.  She informed so much of that character.  I ran into Octavia recently at the PGA Awards, and we are going to try to catch up soon – so, fingers crossed!

Q. Who is your biggest writing inspiration? 

My grandma.  She was always writing poems and short stories.  She was so creative, and could come up with the most engaging rhymes and prose.  She was always entering writing contests, and often won!  Her dedication to craft always makes me want to work harder, and keep striving to find the most entertaining, eloquent way to tell a story.  Whenever I “feel” my Grandma while I’m writing, I know she’ll point me in the right direction.

Q. If you could give your book to one singer/musician, who would it be and why? 

Adele.  I always remember her speech from an awards show, where she said that she and her friend were “pissing themselves laughing.”  I hope that my book would do the same for her! 

Q. If your book was turned into a film/TV show, who would you tap to play the lead(s)? Why? 

In terms of Greer, I’ve never had an exact actress in mind.  For me, I feel Greer’s “essence,” and have an image of her in my head, but it doesn’t translate to a known actor – or, at least, not one that jumps to mind.  For Greer’s father, Will, I’ve thought of many actors over the years, but the most recent has been Jason Bateman.  Aside from being a very good actor, he has a self-deprecating quality that allows him to be funny without trying to be.  Will has been beaten down by life when we meet him, and Greer has to partially pull him out of the abyss.  An actor like Jason Bateman could be really fun and engaging in that dynamic.

Q. What’s one secret about you that you’ll share with the world? 

Author Sheryl Benko

I have a few stuffed animals.  The soft, plushy kind – not taxidermy.  And I occasionally talk to them.  By the way, any adult who tells you they don’t have at least one stuffed animal is probably lying.  And if they have more than one stuffed animal, they definitely talk to them.

Q. What is the core message you want to deliver to the world through your writing/books/stories? 

That while we are all different and unique, we have more in common than we know.  Finding that connection and that shared language is a fascinating journey.  We just have to be open to the ride!

Q. Give us the scoop on your book. 

I am outlining the screenplay, which will be the next venture.  Greer and Will deserve a road trip movie.

Rapid Fire Questions and Answers

Q. Morning person or night owl?

A. Night owl.

Q. Reading or writing?

A. Writing.

Q. Kittens or puppies?

A.  Both!

Q. The beach or the mountains?

A.  Mountains.

Q. Road trip or Cruise ship?

A.  Road trip.

Q. Tea or coffee?

A.  Coffee.

Q. Karaoke or bowling?

A. Bowling.

Q. The ability to fly or mind reading?

A.  Fly.

Q. Selfie or group photo?

A.  Group photo.

Q. E.L. James or J.K. Rowling?

A.  J.K. Rowling.

The Cheeky Bilal Alaji Tells All

The Cheeky Bilal Alaji Tells All

The fun, inspirational and multi-talented Bilal Alaji has written his own memoir to share with the world. With it he hopes to help those struggling to find their path, give guidance and reassurance that any situation can be changed by declaring “This Ain’t My Life”. Bilal’s story keeps the page turning, find out how he manages all of life’s obstacles.

Q. If you could give your book to one celebrity, who would it be and why?

     I would give my book to Iyanla Vanzant because she deals with therapeutic methods to heal people who have experienced trauma’s in their lives. My book This Ain’t My Life would be a great compliment to her show “Fix My Life”. It would be amazing for me to work with her helping people by sharing from a males perspective.

Q. Who is your biggest writing inspiration?

     I have been moved by many books and authors throughout the years but I think the book that had the biggest impact on me in my impressionable years was the Autobiography of Malcolm X written by Alex Haley. This book was my introduction to a fascinating world of literary exposition.  This book melted into the fiber of my being, giving me purpose to define my destiny.

Q. If could give your book to one singer/musician, who would it be and why?

     I would give it to Alicia Keys. She has amazing vocal talent and the ability to see beyond the words. With her musical talent she would transform the book into a musical right away allowing me to see and understand my story in a completely different context.

Q. If your book was turned into a film/TV show, who would you tap to play the lead(s)? Why?

     I’m not sure there is anyone who could play the lead as good as I can. So, I’m going to have to nominate myself for the lead on this role. Eminem played the lead in his movie debut Eight Mile, centered around his life. My religious and musical background makes me a unique character to play, a challenge I’d rather take on myself.

Q. What’s one secret about you that you’ll share with the world?

Bilal Alaji

     My left butt cheek is larger than my right— just kidding. I have a great sense of humor. Those closest to me state that I should have been a stand up comedian. My humor has been my saving grace throughout the years. It has also acted as a buffer when tensions are running high. I now know that the humorous side of me is a skill set that I don’t take for granted.

Q. What is the core message you want to deliver to the world through your writing/books/stories?

     I want those who read my book to know that there is something great lying dormant inside of them. Never give up on yourself, never give up on your dreams, and never give up on your ambitions. It is through your darkest moments that you will find victory. Keep believing in YOU.

Q. Give us the scoop on your book.

      The book chronicles my life as a Black Muslim who was lead down an arduous path by my father. I had aspirations of being a recording artist that was shattered by life altering events. I remained diligent in my passion to pursue my dreams, however, I became a husband and parent at a young age. This would lead me through a web of drama, betrayal, depression, and confusion. As I try to shake to web to find some sort of normalcy, I was too deep entangled, losing myself, my dreams, and my ambition. I found hope through my faith. I began the process of transformation for the life that I’ve always dreamed of. I continued to remind myself that, This Ain’t My Life. It was because of this mantra that I was able to redefine who I was and find my divine purpose.

Rapid Fire Questions and Answers

Q. Morning person or night owl?

A. Most definitely a night owl. I have no problem burning the midnight oil. During late hours are when I receive the most inspiration

Q. Reading or writing?

A. Both. This is a tie. I love to read just as much as I love writing.

Q. Kittens or puppies?

A. I’m a cat lover. Actually, I’m an animal lover, so tie again.

Q. The beach or the mountains?

A. I love the beach. I do mountains too but beach wins this one.

Q. Road trip or Cruise ship?

A. Cruise ship. I have done several cruises as well as road trips. I think I enjoy being pampered and not having to work at all.

Q. Tea or coffee?

A. I’m a tea man. Tea all the way baby!

Q. Karaoke or bowling?

A. Both. I love being active and I’m also extremely competitive.

Q. The ability to fly or mind reading?

A. Mind reading. This will make for such a powerful weapon— I mean skill set.

Q. Selfie or group photo?

A. Group photo. I guess I have all the time in the world to take pics of myself.

Q. E.L. James or J.K. Rowling?

A. J.K. Rowling. She is an absolute beast with her imagination.

Chef and Author, David Ruggerio Discusses His Best Recipe for a Horror Novel

Chef and Author, David Ruggerio Discusses His Best Recipe for a Horror Novel

David Ruggerio is a well-known chef and New York restaurant owner. He mastered his culinary skills in France at its leading restaurants. At the age of twenty five, David rose to fame. He received raved reviews as he worked as a chef at the legendary New York eatery, La Caravels. In 1995, he was recognized as one of the thirteen best young chefs in America.

David Ruggerio is also the author of two cook books. His third book, A Wistful Tale of Gods, Men, and Monsters will be releasing soon. He gives us the best recipe for the makings of a horror novel and more.

David Ruggerio

What made you want to become a horror author?

Though I did not attend college, and my education was limited, throughout my life, I sought refuge from a horrific childhood through reading. In the worst of times, I escaped my surroundings by leaping into the story I was reading at the time. Now, that I’m no longer working behind the stove, I returned to books, but this time, I became the storyteller instead of the reader. I don’t consider myself a true writer, instead, I’m a storyteller in its truest sense.

Did being a famous chef influence your writing?

My fame as a chef took me on a tour of the world. I saw cultures, people and food that I never knew existed. I learned things that later had a great influence on my storytelling. In addition, hosting a television show hones your ability as a storyteller, these were great advantages for me when I decided to trade in my knife for a pen.

Find on Amazon

What is the best recipe for a horror novel? What are some of the twists and turns, scary things, or elements that you added to yours?

I wish I had a secret recipe, but my books begin with either a real place, an actual event, or a nonfictional person. Though fiction, I think using these realities adds a special flavor to my books.

When I decided to pick up the pen, I first read Stephen King’s book on writing. I adopted his formula, I began my first book and allowed the characters within to take me on a journey. I never planned or anticipated any twist or turn within it, and because of that, I have great joy writing about them when they occur!

What is your favorite part of this time of year?

Without a doubt, autumn. With the change of the leaves, the chill in the air, this season reminds me of a saying—“Ghost and Goblins come out to play in October’s final day.”

Where did you come up with the idea to write A Wistful Tale? What inspired you?

I am a true horror aficionado and living in New York, one of my favorite places to visit is Sleepy Hollow. I adored Washington Irvings’ novel and it inspired me. On a trip upstate, I found the village of Brunswick, and I came upon the towns’ abandoned cemetery that some say is the most haunted place in America. It didn’t take much more after that!

What books are you reading this Halloween?

My grandmother left me an original copy of Dracula from 1897. I’m going to enjoy Bram Stocker’s words in its most wonderful original text!

Stay tuned for the release of David Ruggerio’s award-winning horror novel—A Wistful Tale of Gods, Men, and Monsters. It is now available for pre-order on Amazon, Target, and Barnes and Noble, and will be released on October 31, 2019. You can find and read more about David on his website.

What is Parental Alienation Syndrome  and What Can You Do About it?

What is Parental Alienation Syndrome and What Can You Do About it?

You’ve been divorced for a few years and something is happening that you can’t quite explain. Your children are afraid to come over and are saying things that are untrue.  Soon they begin to say cruel things about you that are clearly coming from someone else and it is tremendously hurtful.  It’s more than likely that you and your children are victims of Parental Alienation Syndrome.

What is Parental Alienation Syndrome? Certified Divorce Coach and Parental Alienation Specialist Susan Shofer says that P.A.S was defined in 1985 by Dr. Richard Gardner.  “Dr. Gardner concluded that there are 8 clear symptoms that one can use to diagnose this very painful syndrome.

First let’s take a look as Susan Shofer defines P.A.S. using Dr. Gardner’s 8 symptoms, then she’ll discuss what can be done about it.

8 Symptoms of Parental Alienation

Denigration – “This refers to a child who complains in a very consistent way about a parent. Don’t get me wrong, all children complain about their parents at one time or another, but when you can see the pattern and it becomes extreme, then something else is at work.”

Frivolous Rationalization – “When a child is giving a complaint like, I don’t want to go to dad’s, for example, we must ask the question why. If the answer is not grounded in something real, then we can deduce that this might be a symptom of P.A.S.”

Lack of Ambivalence – “This one is so interesting because it can be a very clear indicator that something is wrong. Normally, people don’t look at those close to them in black & white terms. When I hear that a child says one parent is amazing and the other is horrible, my training and experience kicks in and tells me that things are not as they seem.”

Independent Thinker Phenomenon – “When a child comes out by themselves without being asked and says that the complaint is all them and they weren’t influenced at all, guess what? These are not his or her words. It’s so complicated, because the child truly believes that these thoughts are his or her own alone. This is why I say that the child is a victim of P.A.S. too.”

Automatic Support/Reflexive Support – “If a child sides with one parent every time he or she is in an argument with the other no matter the topic, this is a symptom of P.A.S. It will stand out particularly when the child’s judgement comes quickly and harshly.”

Absence of Guilt – “When a child is consistently cruel or disrespectful with no regard for a parent’s feelings and no apology after things calm down, then it’s clear P.A.S. is at work.”

Borrowed Scenarios – “To detect this symptom you must dig a little deeper into a child’s story about his or her parent. If they tell a story and then later tell the exact same story using not similar, butthe exact same language, this could be a symptom of P.A.S.”

Spread of Animosity – “When a child’s hurtful feelings about and actions towards a parent spread to aunts, uncles and grandparents there is clearly a problem. Very often they have done nothing wrong other than perhaps defending the accused parent.”

Now that we understand what Parental Alienation Syndrome is, what can we do about it? Here’s where Divorce Coach and P.A.S. Specialist Susan Shofer says you can begin:

“First of all, it’s important to understand that no two situations are the same and therefore, unfortunately, there is no perfect plan that works for everyone. Now, having said that, there are some things that everyone can do if they suspect they are being alienated. Mindset is everything so get real about what you’re going through. You are a victim, but you don’t need to act like one. Here are a few ways you can be proactive.

  1. Keep records of every interaction with your ex as well as your child.  This means every email and every text. This also means write down every conversation that you believe is relevant to the problem. You may need these for court.
  2. Never bad mouth the other parent. This is crucial, both for court and for your child’s well-being.  Remember your child is a victim too.
  3. Reassure your child you love him/her regardless of the differences you have with your spouse. Be hyper vigilant about this.
  4. Always bring up good memories of the past to remind them of the good times. 
  5. Make sure you use to the court to enforce your visitation rights. 
  6. Always keep your word and be consistent when dealing with your children.

Finally, if you are being alienated from your child, I highly recommend that you seek out a trained professional. P.A.S. is complicated and very specific to the situation. Children and ex-spouses can be unpredictable, and the courts can be very difficult to navigate. I know, because I’ve been through it all myself.”

If you’d like more information click on Parental Alienation Syndrome or Susan Shofer and find out what you can do to get your child back in your life.

Young Adult Novels You HAVE to Read

Young Adult Novels You HAVE to Read

If you’re a fan of Young Adult novels, 2019 is turning out to be a banner year.  From romance to magic spells, there are plenty of compelling and fun new books for you to read regardless of your taste. There’s even a dark love story with a young Edgar Allen Poe as the protagonist. Pretty cool.

Now, some of you may enjoy sticking with the trends while others get excited about referrals from friends.  That’s great! But what if you’re looking to find the next book that you can recommend. You’ve come to the right place.

Here are a few YA novels that are making waves this year:

The Engine Woman’s Light – by Laurel Anne Hill

Emotions run high in this action-packed tale as 15 year-old Juanita is charged with stopping a sinister plot perpetrated by the Director of a California Asylum. Set in the backdrop of an 1894 alternate world, the story is both marvelous and terrifying as we follow Laurel’s protagonist on her journey to save the victims from a horrible fate.  Juanita is a very well developed and insightful character filled with conflict and complexity.  As a reader you can’t help but root for her and empathize as she struggles through love, loss and the inhumanity of what she finds.

The Last of Will – by Sheryl Benko


Now Available: The Last of Will

Why would a normal teenage girl give up her summer vacation to deliver a stranger’s ashes out of state? Hilarity ensues when Greer Sarazen is forced to road trip with her father who’s on a mission for a local cemetery. A stranded van, a clown, a rodeo, a disco-dancing nerd and a belligerent dwarf threaten to throw off the itinerary, while the departed “passenger” becomes an unexpected friend … proving that, sometimes, the things we truly need are the last things we would ever expect in this truly heartfelt and wonderful novel.

The Lonely Heart’s Bar – by Konni Granma

What happens when Connie, a young woman filled with hope, travels to Los Angeles to study directing and screenwriting, but on the way, meets an unlikely traveler at a roadside bar?  Destinies are linked and our heroes haven given up everything to follow their dreams, team up for a wild adventure. What’s in store for the young rebels in Los Angeles? Does a dream have another side, one that’s just as enigmatic and invisible as the far side of the Moon?  This book is a fun ride with characters that come to life with every emotion they feel and every decision they make.

Growing Up Hollywood – by Tara Botel Doherty

Anything can happen in Hollywood, it can be both a dangerous place and a place where dreams come true. After all, Hollywood is the land of hopes, dreams, and make believe. On these tarnished and run-down streets, especially Hollywood Boulevard in the 1970’s you need to watch your back. Annie and Gracie live on a street above the Boulevard up in the Hollywood Hills in a California Craftsman with large picture windows. Although the picture looks perfect, pictures are often deceiving. With a mother and father on the edge of divorce, these two young girls are left to their own devices and try to make sense of their surroundings on this unfriendly, dead end street. Go on the adventures with these two sisters as they grow up among the famous landmarks, and meet the people who make Hollywood the destination to find fame and fortune among the stars on the Walk of Fame. 

As you can see, 2019 is truly a great time to be a fan of Young Adult novels.  So whether you’re heading off to some exotic location for vacation or just hanging on the patio on a hot summer night, grab a new book and let your imagination take over for a while.  You may even discover that a new author has become a new favorite.   

Let’s Talk Love with Barbara Morriss

Let’s Talk Love with Barbara Morriss




Barbara Morriss writes relatable romance stories with historic backdrops. Brining readers back to the glory days of courting and romance. But her novels are more than just love stories, she adds a twist of mystery and a pinch of danger. We cannot get enough of Morriss’ work and hope she continues writing these addicting pieces. Her newest book, A Promise in Autumn is releasing soon, we wanted to find out more:

Q. If you could give your book to one celebrity, who would it be and why?

I would love to give my book to Rob Reiner. I think he’d like it.  My book, A Promise in Autumn, is a romance between two likable, and very different individuals.  Rob Reiner seems to understand the complexities of a relationship and what happens as two people explore a friendship and then a romance. Remember “When Harry Met Sally”?

 

Q. Who is your biggest writing inspiration?

I love reading historical fiction and non-fiction.  When I read The Boys in the Boat, a gripping story of non-fiction by Daniel James Brown,  I was inspired to tell stories based on historical facts. I am looking forward to reading his most recent book, Under a Flaming Sky.  His books read like novels. He portrays his characters with so much heart that a reader genuinely cares about them.

 

Q. If could give your book to one singer/musician, who would it be and why?

I don’t know, maybe Adele.  I think she’d like my story.  Maybe she’d even identify with the heartbreak?

 

Q. Give us the scoop on YOUR great love story!

My book A Promise in Autumn is a good love story peppered with an antagonist, stolen jewels, and enough twists and turns to keep you engaged.

 

Q. If your book was turned into a film/TV show, who would you tap to play the lead(s)? Why?

For the female lead I would choose, Irish actress Saoirse Ronan to play Keagan.  She would nail the accent and I think she’d pull off the relationship dynamic between an Irish Catholic and an English protestant. Alden Caleb Ehrenreich would make a perfect Raymon, Keagan’s love interest.  I think Saoirse and Alden would have great chemistry like my characters.

 

Q. What’s one secret about you that you’ll share with the world?

I admire and have a fan crush on tennis great, Roger Federer. I’ve seen him play several times, but never was close enough to say hello. I hope one day to cross that off my bucket list.

 

Q. What is the core message you want to deliver to the world through your writing/books/stories?

Yesterday is gone, tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today, let us begin. Mother Theresa

 

Rapid Fire Questions and Answers

Q. Morning person or night owl?

A. Morning person – love the mornings.

Q. Reading or writing?

A. This is a difficult choice. I love to read good books and the creative process of writing.

Q. Kittens or puppies?

A. Puppies –They bring me joy, so do adult dogs.

Q. The beach or the mountains?

A. The beach – I have always chosen to live near one.

Q. Road trip or Cruise ship?

A. Road trip – We love to hit the road with our pug, Dudley. Our itineraries always include hikes, beer tasting, and sidewalk dining.

Q. Tea or coffee?

A. Coffee – We need several cups of caffeine every morning.

Q. Karaoke or bowling?

A. If I could sing, it would be karaoke hands down.

Q. The ability to fly or mind reading?

A. Those are two scary choices. Although I fear heights, I think if I could fly like a bird it would be breathtaking. I’m not sure I would want to know what others are thinking. Although when I write, I have to get in the heads of my characters.

Q. Selfie or group photo?

A. Here’s another secret. I hate having my picture taken – group photo for sure.

Q. E.L. James or J.K. Rowling?

A. J.K. Rowling – talk about creative! The thing I love most about her writing is the vocabulary she invents to tell her stories.

Q. Bacon or Tofu?

A. Bacon, one of my guilty pleasures. I should prefer tofu.

 

Pre-order a copy of her latest book on Amazon!