Grateful Friday – Go Barry Petersen, Kim Kircher, and Gay Culverhouse

December 16, 2011

What a lovely thing to wake up to:

  • Barry Petersen, author of the heart wrenching Jan’s Story, is a Denver Post bestseller and managed to snag the #1 spot in the Paperback Nonfiction category. WoOt. If you know anyone with Early Onset Alzheimer’s, this is your bible.
  • Gay Culverhouse, author of the riveting Throwaway Players, has a lovely review in ForeWord Magazine. “Her book is an essential read for athletes, coaches, parents, and football fans.”

I love my authors.


October 7, 2011

It’s been a while since I had a #gratefulfriday post, and I’m overdue. To be honest, there are days when it’s hard to remember to be grateful. The economy is in the tank without seeming end, and this makes it hard for businesses to place any faith in expansion. As much as I’d like to hire more people, I have to keep my eye on the bottom line. Hearing from our sales teams about how tough it is out there in BookSalesLand is enough to have me diving for a pitcher of the beagle’s margaritas.

And yet, today I woke up feeling grateful because there are so many more good things in my life than crappy. Our books are selling, which means readers are excited to hear what our brilliant authors have to say.

Jan’s Story has sold roughly 25,000 units, and that’s something to celebrate because his readers are learning how different Early Onset Alzheimer’s is, and how especially devastating it is because it affects people still in the prime of life.

Kim Kircher’s new release Oct.1 came off with a bang. Her lovely review really hits to the heart of her book. I love this part:

“Is there a caregiver role for you in your future? Would you like to realize that you too can get through medical crises fifteen minutes at a time? Read the book. Kircher is no superwoman—she’s just one of us, but she chose to follow her bliss out of the classroom and into the mountains and then using what the mountains taught her to help save her husband’s life. He’s one lucky husband. Death is the background character here, lurking behind the curtain. No spoilers, but this is a story that will chill and warm your heart.”

I think she’s touching a lot of hearts with her message of living a crisis fifteen minutes at a time. We can handle any kind of Bandini for fifteen minutes, right? Reading Kim’s book, or being around her always makes me want to take up bullfighting or cat wrangling.

I’m equally grateful to Detective Chris Baughman and his fabulous book Off the Street. I have to say that I have never been so impacted by someone’s presence. Chris looks like someone you’d never want to piss off. He’s tall and built like a Mack truck. But he’s a poet, a Renaissance Man, as you’ll see in his writing style. Yet, his book reveals Chris as an avenger and protector – so much so, that I still pump a fist into the air whenever I read his book. His message about human/child trafficking is frightening because it’s happening right under our noses.

The idea that hookers are “bad girls” is ancient thinking. Our daughters and sons are being swept up into this mess. He spoke before 900 parents Thursday night with this message.

Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers president, Gay Culverhouse, taught me about concussion and their destructive properties. I remember how friends of mine suffered concussions in sports, and no one thought anything about it. We all kidded around about, “Hey, you really got your bells rung.” After reading Gay’s book, the very thought of my friends having their bells rung give me a case of the shudders.

Anyone with a kid in sports needs to read this book. Gay wasn’t just the prez of the Bucs, but she has her doctorate in Special Ed. The woman knows her stuff, and she showed that when she testified before Congress.

I could go on forever about all our wonderful authors because they humble me and make me grateful that I get to be involved withe their fabulous lives.

There is very little wiggle room with bookstores nowadays. They won’t speculate whether a title will sell. They want to know it’ll sell, so it’s incumbent on us publishers to provide our sales teams with solid promo plans. Bookstores are also looking to their own bottom line, which affects cash flow, inventory control, cost of returns, and traffic…meaning customers.

So what is there to be grateful about that? The fact that we know this information and can adjust our business plan to meet their criteria. And that’s why you should be grateful, too.

Rather than lament the way things are, consider the ways that you can adjust yourself to fit into that model. Knowledge is power, and success boils down to the way you choose to utilize that power. And because of that knowledge, writers have never had so many fabulous choices at their fingertips. This means that more people are channeling their inner creativity.  How marvelous!

I’m grateful to each and every one of you for daring to be something more.

Why I have the coolest job in the world

September 16, 2011

I love my authors. A lot. A whole lot. They’ve done and experienced things I can only dream about – or be grateful that I didn’t experience. As a sociology graduate from the early Jurassic Era, I get caught up in people’s stories and how they’re influenced by their experiences. I’m also a huge believer in karma – that what you put out sets a cosmic response into motion.

As such, our authors have some amazing stories to tell. Our three new releases make my heart skip a beat.

Throwaway Players: The Concussion Crisis From Pee Wee Football to the NFL
Gay Culverhouse is the former president of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. She also has her doctorate from Columbia in special education, which means she has all the background for her new career of talking about the dangers of concussions.

Since Gay spent many years in football, she draws upon her experiences with football players – many who were good friends – and tells of how their many concussions deteriorated their brains to the point wherel a number of them died.

It’s a heartbreaking story, but Gay took her experiences and is now providing help to retired players, where none existed before. She’s also helping educate parents of kids playing sports because too many kids lives have been ruined from concussions as well. Gay is my hero. Read her book – you won’t be disappointed.

Off the Street

I just read a wonderful article in Las Vegas Weekly about our author, Chris Baughman, that pretty much sums up how his experiences altered his life and those who fall within his circle of light. I know, that sounds cheesy, but Chris is a ray of light for those women he saves from being beaten, or worse, taken out to the desert and killed.

Human trafficking doesn’t happen to “bad girls,” and this was something I didn’t realize. During editing, Chris told me about a veterinarian who got caught up in this ugly world. Imagine! A highly educated woman falling prey to a pimp’s lies. Of course, she had no idea he was a pimp until it was too late. That’s how slick these pimps are. And this happens just as easily to the “girl next door.”

This is a powerful book that details Chris’ hunt and destruction of a pimp making a million dollars a year…off of his women. It’s a story that had me punching the air and whooping like a moron.

The thing I love about Chris is his passion. He details in his book about being a kid at his best friend’s house and seeing the friend’s mother beaten severely by her ex-pimp. See, you can’t leave this life until your pimp says you can. Chris talks of his frustration about not being able to protect his friend’s mother. It’s a blinding image that stayed with me – and what fuels Chris to protect all women.

Chris is my hero. Read his book – you won’t be disappointed.

The Next 15 Minutes: Strength From the Top of the Mountain

I love to tell the story that there were three of us fighting over Kim Kircher at the Pacific Northwest Writer’s Conference, and I won. I get all goofy silly when I think of the editor at St. Martin’s looking over my schedule and pointing at Kim’s name, saying, “You’ll love her. I’d love this in my lineup.” I didn’t think anything about it until Kim walked in with five other writers. It was one of those deals where six authors sit at an editor’s table and pitch their book.

From the minute she opened her mouth, I was hooked. Not only is she gorgeous, all ten feet of her, but she’s a fantastic writer who tells a compelling story about having this amazing life with her husband running Crystal Mountain in Washington. He ran the joint while she tossed bombs out of helicopters, screaming, “Bombs away!” When she wasn’t saving injured skiers, she and her adorable husband, John, were off having adventures that exhaust me just reading about them.

Then tragedy struck when John was diagnosed with bile duct cancer. He was given a year to live if he didn’t receive a liver transplant. For Kim, whose world is about saving lives and dealing with emergencies fifteen minutes at a time, this ordeal seemed overwhelming…until she grabbed the lessons she’d learned on the mountain. The mountain had taught her that if she broke up her fears in fifteen-minute intervals, that nothing couldn’t be overcome.

It’s a fantastic theme that resonates throughout her book. Kim’s story had me reliving my own youth of shooting through narrow ski runs with my hair on fire…ahhh, good times. But what stuck with me is Kim’s theme of grabbing for strength wherever you can. There is a very cool article about Kim in Mountain Magazine, and this one thing Kim said really stuck with me. She said, “Our adventures are like dress rehearsals for real life challenges.”

True that!

We’re all faced with fear and uncertainty, but what a marvelous gift we have at being able to draw upon aspects of our lives to get us over the hump. Fifteen minutes at a time. Because Kim could draw upon her experiences, she was elevated to a position of strength and hope for John. What a beautiful love story as well as an affirmation of digging deep in our soul to find out exactly what we’re made of. Kim is my hero. Read her book – you won’t be disappointed.
So there you have it. This is just part of the reason why I have the coolest job in the world. I have the honor of dipping my brain into the lives of people who have done and seen amazing things, and share those incredible journeys with readers who will never feel the same after reading one of our books.

Everyone loves a winner…think sports…

August 30, 2011

…and you won’t go wrong picking up a copy of former Prez of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Gay Culverhouse’s wonderful new book, Throwaway Players: The Concussion Crisis From Pee Wee Football to the NFL.

Concussions just aren’t for the big boys with hamhocks for hands – they happen to anyone who plays a sport. What’s more, is a concussion isn’t something you “walk off” or “get over it.” It can res-cramble your brain and affect the rest of your life. Gay’s book is for parents who have kids in sports, and for anyone who plays a sport. You need to know about what goes into making decisions for buying equipment for PeeWee, high school, and colleges. You’d be amazed.

Gay has a wonderful interview and review from Brooke de Lench, who has a fabulous site Mom’s Team.

Pick up a copy of this thought-provoking books today.


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