Light, Dark, and the Electromagnetic Spectrum by Scott Benjamin Gracie – Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Scott Benjamin Gracie will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Since the dawn of time, electromagnetic energy has permeated through the universe, surrounding and interacting with everything it touches, illuminating, destroying and giving life.

The colourful section of the electromagnetic spectrum we see in the form of visible light, rainbows and other phenomena is tiny when compared to its vast entirety. Using many parts of the electromagnetic spectrum have become common everyday occurrence for the majority of people on Earth, as it’s been integrated into our lives in ways that we don’t even think twice about it.

This book illuminates many parts of the electromagnetic spectrum and its effects, the endless ways we have harnessed its energy, and how we interact and live with its influence.

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Wave-Particle Duality of Light

Many years of research have led us to now understand that light behaves either as a particle or as a wave and each behaviour is dependent on the amount of energy a photon has. High-energy photons (like X-rays) act like particles, while lower-energy photons (like radio) act more like waves. This is called ‘wave- particle duality’.

In the early 1800s, Thomas Young, an English scientist, was experimenting with light by shining beams through two narrow slits. The result was a classic interference pattern that would normally be found if light were a wave, as seen in the interference pattern below. However, in the late 1800s, Max Planck, a German theoretical physicist, proposed that light could only be emitted in small chunks. It turned out to be that they were both right.

In the 1920s, physicist Louis de Broglie suggested that because light has momentum, energy and a wavelength, perhaps matter has the same. It turned out that he was also correct.

Matter sometimes acts like a particle and sometimes like a wave, just like light, so both light and matter are considered to be made of waves and particles.

Speed of Light

The speed at which photons travel is called the ‘speed of light’. That speed is 299,792 kilometres per second or 186,281 miles per second, and it’s the maximum speed light can travel.

The fact that light has a speed was first realised in the late 1600s by Danish astronomer Ole Rømer while he was studying one of Jupiter’s moons Io and observing an irregularity with the timing of its eclipses.

In the mid-1800s, physicist James Clerk Maxwell discovered that changing electric fields can create magnetic fields, and vice versa. He showed that waves of electricity can create waves of magnetism, which make waves of electricity, back and forth capable of propagating through space.

Other scientific revelations were revealed when Albert Einstein applied his theory of special relativity to James Clerk Maxwell’s equations and found the speed of light to be the constant between space and time. When light passes through some mediums such as glass or water, it slows down due to the photons interacting with atoms as it travels through. In water, light slows to approximately 225,000 kilometres per second, in glass to approximately 197,000 kilometres per second and in a diamond to approximately 124,000 kilometres per second.

When exiting the medium it travelled through, light again moves at 299,792 kilometres per second.

To better comprehend this extraordinary speed, if light could travel in a circle around the Earth, in one second it would travel 7.5 times around, or from the Sun, light takes 8.3 minutes to travel to Earth.

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About the Author: Scott’s passion for light and the electromagnetic spectrum began in his early teens while tinkering with electronics as a hobby. He was formally introduced to the lighting industry while studying Electrical and Electronics in Sydney, Australia, and in 1998 he started his career making custom light fittings and lamps in his dad’s garage. Formal lighting design qualifications expanded his opportunity to help project-manage and design on many industry levels.

Twenty-two years on, and Scott has worked on many major infrastructure, commercial and architectural lighting projects. He is a member of the Illuminating Engineering Society of Australia & New Zealand, the Colour Society of Australia, the International Dark Sky Association and the Astronomical Society of the Pacific.

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Heal Your TMJ by Dr. Haissam Dahan – Spotlight and Giveaway

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TMJ clicking. Jaw locking. Headaches. Migraines. Ear pain. Stiff Neck. The evidence is overwhelming: the roots of these issues may be caused by your TMJ! TMJ is the name of the joint of the jaw, and groundbreaking research has now revealed that it may be the cause of many chronic pains we suffer. TMJ is the second most common musculoskeletal pain, and as many as 1 in every 3 people will experience TMJ pain in their lifetime. For the longest time, people suffered in silence with TMJ pain, but new breakthrough advancements in research and treatment reveal that you can life a life TMJ-pain-free!

Drawing on his private practice, where he works with people suffering with TMJ, Dr. Dahan reveals in this book his 6 steps to eradicating chronic TMJ pain from your life. He will draw experience from his years working with TMJ sufferers to teach you how to heal your TMJ and live your best life ever!

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After years of studying, treating, and learning about chronic pain, I know one thing for sure: Pain is a mask of something else. Pain is a thermometer of your life. Pain is a warning that your life is heading in the wrong direction. Essentially your body is saying, “You’ve made some stupid decisions, and I’m not happy, so I’m going to let you know.” So your pain isn’t a curse but is, in fact, a blessing.

About the Author:

Photo by CHRIS MIKULA, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Dr. Haissam Dahan became a dentist in 2005, and furthered his education by completing a clinical fellowship in orofacial pain at the world-renowned Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. He conducted TMJ research, earning a PhD from McGill University in 2014. He has lectured at Harvard, McGill and Tufts University, and has spoken at national and international conferences. He has a successful private practice in Ottawa helping patients who are suffering with TMJ pain.

Dr. Dahan lives in Ottawa with his wife, and has two young boys and a girl. He enjoys running, cycling, and spending time outdoors with his family and friends.

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Guided Teachings from Spirit by Mike Ellis – Spotlight and Giveaway

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A spirit guide.
Love is the answer.
Love is the be-all.
Don’t be afraid.
I am here to help you.

These are a few of the words I had written down the morning after a trusted medium told me to buy a notebook and write down the very first thing that came to me. Okay, but these didn’t sound like things I would say. Was it really my spirit guide? I had doubts, and those doubts would stay with me over the next several months as I continued this daily ritual.

Eventually, I accepted the fact that this was spirit communication. This was a guide, and there would be two more to follow in the coming years. This has now become a daily routine after my morning meditation: sitting and writing what comes through me. It is indeed a deep communication with a close friend and confidant.

In the course of all of this, there would be so much more. How I improved and strengthened my mediumship abilities, how the Universe opened to me in so many ways, and how my personal life changed for the better. Do you think this is something you would be interested in trying? If I can do it, so can you. Follow my progress from my initial misgivings to my introduction to a whole new world.

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In the book, I document my lowest point and the serendipitous events that slowly started taking place thereafter, my gradual understanding of what was happening, the incredible circumstances that led me to a psychic medium, and the five sessions I had with that medium over eleven years. Those sessions are transcribed in the book and detail all the family members, friends, and even pets that came through. The transcriptions also include the angels and spirit guides that came through and the future possibilities they foresaw for me.

The medium’s name is Claudette Godin. She is an incredible person with astounding abilities and is known both here and overseas. She has met many well-known names in the spiritualist community and is now the representative for Canada of the ISF (International Spiritualist Federation). The International Spiritualist Federation is a group of people interested in global spiritualism. They meet to support, share, and learn from each other. It includes healers, mediums, and anyone interested in furthering their education, communicating their knowledge, or demonstrating that death is not the end. That is the definition of spiritualism—the belief that there is more after we die and that spirit lives on. I have been most blessed to have experienced Claudette’s talents.

About the Author: Mike spent more than forty-five years in the stock brokerage business as a floor governor on the Vancouver Stock Exchange, and vice president of trading for a local brokerage house. Things began falling apart for him, including burnout, marriage separation, and financial worries. Mike left the business in 2008 and got a job at a local hospital as a security officer. He had been interested in metaphysical matters at an early age, but life interrupted further studies as his work and marriage took over more of his time. The Universe interceded when everything around him seemed to be falling apart, and his spiritual journey assuredly began.

Another of Mike’s passions is painting, predominantly in watercolor and oil. Mike has remarried and considers his life surpassing anything he could have imagined.

This is Mike’s second publication following Guided Messages from the Other Side.

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Avalon by Vanessa Morgan – Spotlight and Giveaway

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Avalon is now also available in French!

Some cats need nine lives to make a difference. Avalon only needed one.

From Amazon bestselling author Vanessa Morgan, Avalon is the heartwarming and once-in-a-lifetime love story of a girl and her neurotic Turkish Van cat.

With humor, the author details how Avalon made other creatures cringe in distress whenever he was around, how he threw her dates out by means of special techniques, and how he rendered it almost impossible for her to leave the house. Avalon was so incorrigible that even the landlord ordered to get rid of him. But beneath Avalon’s demonic boisterousness, Vanessa recognized her own flaws and insecurities, and she understood that abandoning Avalon would be the worst she could do to him. Thanks to her unswerving loyalty, Avalon transformed into a tender feline and even landed a major role in a horror movie. In turn, Avalon made it his mission to be there for his human companion.

Avalon is a memoir for anyone who has ever been obsessively in love with a pet.

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Ignoring the neighbors’ cats had diminished Avalon’s jealousy, but with four more beings in the apartment demanding my devotion, Avalon’s reality was still a far cry from his personal utopia, and new pet peeves were routinely added to his usual problem-seeking behavior.

Small changes often caused major disturbances. When we removed a DVD from the cupboard, or put a pen on the living room table that he wasn’t used to seeing there, Avalon pitched himself near the problem area and vocalized his complaints as if he was a muezzin calling to prayer. He only stopped if the space returned back to normal.

Intelligent and calculating as he was, Avalon had also developed a technique to prevent Ballon and Tigris from using his litter boxes. Each time he heard the scratch scratch scratch in the litter, he settled into attack mode behind the bathroom wall, wiggled his behind, and leapt onto the other cat as soon as it emerged, making it jump. It worked every…single… time. Proud, Avalon walked away from the crime scene with his nose pointing airwards.

Borat, our guinea pig, was initially the best one off, but ended up the most miserable. What kept him safe at first was Avalon’s fear of rodents. Cats may be considered deadly predators, killing a median of 2.4 billion birds and 12.3 billion mammals a year in the United States alone, but whenever Borat had free range inside the apartment, Avalon went in a large circle around him, avoiding him at all cost.

Eventually, Avalon ferreted out a way to make Borat twinge in distress whenever he approached. It started when I taught Avalon not to throw up on the bed and carpets. Those lessons must have been meaningful, because Avalon didn’t vomit in those places anymore. Instead he aimed for the guinea pig’s head. As soon as he felt a hairball mounting, Avalon ran as fast as he could toward Borat’s cage, leaned in, and puked his heart out.

About the Author:

Vanessa Morgan is the editor of the movie reference guides When Animals Attack: The 70 Best Horror Movies with Killer Animals, Strange Blood: 71 Essays on Offbeat and Underrated Vampire Movies, and Evil Seeds: The Ultimate Movie Guide to Villainous Children. She also has had one cat book (Avalon) and four supernatural thrillers (Drowned Sorrow, The Strangers Outside, A Good Man, and Clowders) published. Three of her stories have been turned into movies. She has written for myriad Belgian magazines and newspapers and introduces movie screenings at several European film festivals. She is also a programmer for the Offscreen Film Festival in Belgium. When she’s not working on her latest book, you can find her reading, watching movies, eating out, or photographing felines for her blog Traveling Cats.

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The French version of the book can be purchased at Amazon for only $0.99.

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Hope, Strength and Courage by Kathryn Lee – Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Kathryn Lee will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

This book has been a self-reflective journey of a medical doctor as an ordinary person going through ordinary life’s ups and downs. In epistolary form, its articles were written during the special time of her first year of training to become a general practitioner/family physician, including making the tough decision to give up hospital specialist training, “withdrawing” from fast-paced hospital work, transitioning to working from a metropolitan hospital to a rural community clinic, witnessing and getting used to a younger sibling’s growing up, and being independent from a close and loving family. Some also feature a promotion of the author’s new academic career at the start of the COVID 19 pandemic and how it was perceived. The book shows a journey of love, strength, perseverance, purpose and encouragement. Lots of anecdotes, lots of stories, lots of quotes. With love and respect.

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In this car crash, I certainly suffered physically and a little bit emotionally, but spiritually and by the grace of God, I gained so much. I see things differently now, and I understand not to take anything for granted, especially the people around me and the relationships I build and can use to honour God and bring peace, love, and joy to others. I know God loves me, and He protected me during this incident so I can bring testimony and continue making a positive impact in this world, and in this short life we all live. God is the provider of hope, strength, and courage. He is also the provider of true peace. His words carry transformational power and bring dramatic life changes and breakthroughs. Dude, it is with love and gratitude that I shared with you what the past two weeks have been like for me. You were right. I should not be here on this Earth after that accident, and if not for the grace of God, you might be mourning the loss of your sister and preparing for my funeral instead of enjoying conversations with me. Think of the stress! You would have to deal with my rental place in Meadows Field, my mortgage in Riverdale and the care of Mum and Dad, in addition to what you already stress over in your own work. But God is good, and He is faithful, and He did not leave you in that situation. Recount your blessings, and immerse yourself in the love of God through His words, grace, and peace. Like a song I sang at Church today, “I am still in His hands”; yes, Dude, you and I are still in His hands. We are all in His hands, so our lives can be abundant, fulfilled and with purpose. As in Romans 8:37, “In all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him who loves us.”

About the Author: Kay Li is a medical doctor. A Christian. A daughter. A sister. A student in life university. An ordinary person in an extraordinary world.

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Meeting Death by Howard Brown – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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I met death.

In fact, I met death twice. Against overwhelming odds both times, I lived to tell this story—which is why I won’t waste time telling you anything but the most essential truths in these pages. Meeting death shines a clarifying spotlight on one’s life. In actually confronting death, all the superfluous stuff that usually fills our days is burned away. What becomes clear as we grapple tooth and nail with death is a glimpse of the true purpose of the life we’ve been given in this world.

What is the purpose of a good life? First, a disclaimer: In answering this question, I am not pretending to be one of the world’s great sages. What I can do is the same thing you can do. I can tell you my story—with all of its laughter, warm embraces, crazy brainstorms, daring leaps of faith and cliffhangers. By the end, you will recognize how much our stories are connected. You may discover that all of us are part of a much bigger story—or, we might say, a much larger circle.

So, what is the purpose of a good life? What is the message you’ll find shining through all of the stories in this book? It’s a question I was forced to answer when I met death each time. Wrestling with death month after month was so bone-wearying that I had to answer this core question each morning just to climb out of bed: Against all odds, why should I go on living? Millions of cancer patients like me know this haunting question all too well. Some days, it feels easier to just lay back, surrender and give up.

When I faced that question the first time, I was surprised by my own answer. I realized how completely my confrontation with death was stripping away all of the inconsequential noise in my life. Why should I live? One easy answer to that question that I could have voiced is a cry of defiance mixed with regret: “Because there’s so much more I want to get!” But, no, I never said that. I never got lost in that trap, because that answer really is a first step toward letting cancer separate us from the people surrounding us—narrowing our focus to all that the disease may be taking away from us as individuals.

My honest answer always was: “Because there’s so much more I want to give.” On my worst day—and there were hundreds of worst days—that was always my answer.

Why should I live?

Because there is so much more I can give.

In Shining Brightly, Silicon Valley pioneer, cancer survivor and interfaith peacemaker Howard Brown shares keys to resilience for successful entrepreneurs, patient advocates and community leaders. He shows us how to reach out through our families, our communities and around the world to form truly supportive connections and friendships. From Howard’s career as a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, to his conquering metastatic stage IV cancer twice, to his compassionate outreach as a peacemaker, to his love of sports—this ultimately is not one man’s story. Shining Brightly is a story shared by countless men and women—and may wind up changing your life as well. With each true story he tells in the pages, Howard invites readers to picture how they might join him in shining more light in our world.

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Sprinkled through all the adventures in this book—some of them ordinary, heartwarming family stories and some of them so remarkable you will be tempted to call them miraculous—there are truths like this one Bubby Bertha was trying to explain that morning on the sidewalk in Worcester, Massachusetts. There are more to come, but here are four of these truths as we set out on our journey together in these pages:

• Each of us has our own special light.

• We shine more brightly when we share our light with others.

• True resiliency—the kind that is strong enough to overcome trauma at seemingly impossible odds— rests on letting in the light of others.

• As our light circles the world, we illuminate and celebrate our diversity.

I’m sharing these truths right away so that perhaps you’ll turn down the corner of this page and flip back to it from time to time. This is your book as much as it is mine, after all, and I wrote it with the intention that you will mark it up and return to its pages occasionally for inspiration. Plus, as you read through these chapters, you’ll find lots of ideas for fun and inspiring things you can do to shine your light in the world.

About the Author:Howard Brown is an author, Silicon Valley entrepreneur, interfaith peacemaker, two-time stage IV cancer survivor and healthcare advocate. For more than three decades, Howard’s business innovations, leadership principles, mentoring and his resilience in beating cancer against long odds have made him a sought-after speaker and consultant for businesses, nonprofits, congregations, and community groups. In his business career, Howard was a pioneer in helping to launch a series of technology startups before he co-founded two social networks that were the first to connect religious communities around the world. He served his alma matter—Babson College, ranked by US News as the nation’s top college for entrepreneurship—as a trustee and president of Babson’s worldwide alumni network. His hard-earned wisdom about resilience after beating cancer twice has led him to become a nationally known patient advocate and “cancer whisperer” to many families. Visit Howard at ShiningBrightly.com to learn more about his ongoing work and contact him. Through that website, you also will find resources to help you shine brightly in your own corner of the world. Howard, his wife Lisa and daughter Emily currently reside in Michigan.

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18 Notes on Writing from a High School English Teacher Turned Award-winning Author by Jay Armstrong – Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Jay Armstrong will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

18 notes on writing from a high school English teacher turned award-winning author:

1. There are two types of writing: private and public. Private writing is for your eyes only like journals, diaries, and memos on your phone. Public writing is meant to be read by a reader. It includes blogs, emails, novels, or an angry letter to the Department of Motor Vehicles. The point of public writing is to connect to the reader. A public writer must be selfless. A public writer must attempt to identify, visualize, and connect to their private reader.

2. The first draft is always for the writer. Every other draft after is for the reader.

3. Good writing is vulnerable writing. Let your reader hear the things they’re reluctant to say out loud.

4. Young writers often think long sentences mark good writing. Silly. Short sentences show poise and control. They are easily digestible and appreciated by the reader.

5. However, long sentences are sometimes needed to vary the rhythm of a piece, convey a complicated feeling or to show action. The 142-word first sentence in Tim O’Brien’s “The Man I Killed” taught me more about writing than four years of college.

6. Get comfortable with contradictions. Humans are contradictory creatures. We value privacy yet we post our lives on the internet. We want to know other people’s secrets yet fear being exposed. We want to hold on but we yearn to let go. The point is, contradictions are the hub of human conflict. Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, you want to develop characters who—like you and I—are struggling with their own contradictions.

7. Include natural imagery in your writing. As you or your characters live life, gravity pulls, the world turns. Juxtaposing human strife with the grand yet indifferent natural world will stir your reader’s imagination and offer them comfort. Because while they are reading your writing, nature is outside their window doing its thing.

8. Include sensory imagery in your writing. Readers want their senses tickled. Describing how something smells, tastes, feels, or sounds helps the reader further appreciate and experience your writing.

9. When you doubt yourself as a writer, take a deep breath, and repeat, “I am a writer” as many times as you need to drive self-doubt away. Also, know that self-doubt never goes away. You can only hope to exile self-doubt to the time-out corner for a brief period. A good rule is one minute of time-out for every year of the writer. For example, a forty-year-old writer should hope to keep self-doubt in time-out for forty minutes.

10. Young writers often measure their writing ability by scores or teacher evaluations. This is a trap, especially if you earn high marks. A good writer knows writing will never be completely mastered.

11.Do not capitalize, concern yourself with punctuation, grammar, or consider proper writing etiquette when writing a first draft. Save this tedium for the second and third drafts.

12. Have enough confidence to write a poor first draft and enough guts to write a second.

13. Write with humor. Remind your reader laughter is essential for survival.

14. The pursuit of perfection leads to procrastination. You or your writing won’t be perfect. Get used to it.

15. Start walking. This will help clear your mind and allow for writing breakthroughs you can’t achieve while sitting at a computer. Also, walking is a fine metaphor for writing. Go at your own pace, breathe, be patient, and take one step at a time.

16. When you’re ready—buy, read, and study the following four books on writing: Consider This by Chuck Palahniuk, Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King and The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. Once you finish reading, go write. Reading about writing is helpful, but only the act of writing will make you a better writer.

17. A story is only as interesting as its conflict.

18. 95% of writing is overcoming these four words, “I can’t do this.” Heck, 95% of life is overcoming those four words. You may wonder what the remaining 5 % is. I don’t know. I think it’s for us to figure out on our own.

Diagnosed with a progressive brain disease, a young father is determined to teach his children the importance of pursuing their dreams.

A cell phone’s ring interrupts the silence as Jay Armstrong sits in his high school classroom preparing for the year ahead. Something about the ring makes his stomach drop. It’s his doctor.

The words, “diffuse cerebellar atrophy, a rare, degenerative brain disease” float through the speaker. All of Jay’s youthful dreams of being a writer rush back, flooding the twenty years he has spent teaching students how to appreciate novels, memoirs, and poetry. The care he put into teaching them how to write with clarity, insight, and humor, and how to dance at the prom. The bedtime stories he never told his children spin in his imagination. It will all die when he dies.

Jay chooses to experience his condition as an inspiration here to teach him to appreciate the time he still has. He writes letters and stories to his three children about his failing voice, his impaired motor skills, and falling down on Christmas morning. Writing helps him cope with the illness and its symptoms. And so, he accepts the mission of writing more stories for them: the difference his father’s wink made at a critical moment of a baseball game, why they should take walks even in cruddy weather, and how he avoided having to explain what semen is for.

As his condition worsens, Jay’s faith in the power of storytelling deepens. His daily life is wildly different than he foresaw, and possibly shorter, but he can leave his children a legacy more valuable than any financial inheritance. He writes “Bedtime Stories for the Living”, an episodic memoir to show his children how to accept their limitations and find joy. The collection of tender, witty stories about fatherhood, persevering despite illness, and pursuing your dreams, demonstrates how love gives us the strength to face heartache with bravery and grace.

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There is something you should know. In the history of my ordinary suburban life, I’ve never told any of my three children a bedtime story. Not telling your child a bedtime story seems like a major dad offense. Like forgetting them at Target or wearing a clown costume to “Back-to-School Night” or letting them swim twenty-six minutes after lunch.

Do I love my children?

On most days I do.

On most days, like you, they’re decent people. So why didn’t I tell them bedtime stories?

Selfishly, I don’t like the pressure. The nightlight. The slow swirl of the ceiling fan blades. Their big eyes staring up at me, expecting me to entertain them, to stir their imagination. Who do they think I am? Bruce Springsteen? No. I’m a dad who gets his sushi from a supermarket. I wear sneakers with khaki pants. I once taught high school English in New Jersey. I mean, to be creative and tell a story on demand is down-right stressful. Who needs that kind of stress after 9 pm?

My parents were better parents. When I was a kid, Mom and Dad would tuck me into bed and tell me stories about my grandfathers and grandmothers, about how Mom and Dad met, or about playing stickball in narrow Philadelphia streets. Bedtime stories were history. They brought my little universe into focus, shaped my identity, and instilled a love of storytelling.

As good suburban boys do, I fell in love, got married, and had three kids. Just when things were going as planned, in 2013, I was diagnosed with a progressive brain disease called diffuse cerebellar atrophy. The disease degenerates my motor skills, balance, coordination, eyesight, and speech. A fall can lead to a head injury and weakening esophageal muscles to choking and asphyxiation, and so on—a veritable smorgasbord of potentially fatal complications. Two years later, sarcoidosis, a complicated autoimmune disorder that attacks every major body organ, was added to my list of health issues.

It was only when the prospect of death became real that I began writing.

In 2015, I created Write On Fight On (writeonfighton.org), and for the next five years I wrote and posted bedtime stories I never told my kids. By writing these stories, I began to reexamine who I once was, who I am now, and the man and father I hoped to one day grow up to be. Writing made me realize, in the face of our inevitable death, our time to tell our story is painfully brief. And that we should make like Springsteen and do what we can to achieve our dreams.

As I wrote this book, time passed. The kids grew up. My diseases progressed. People I love died. And one spring morning, standing in the driveway with my hands in my pockets, time’s yellow chariot turned the corner. The air brakes exhaled, “Bye Dad” was said, and as the bus, my children, and a swirl of exhaust smoke disappeared down the street, I realized the irony of my effort. I was trying to preserve time while it was passing like a school bus in the morning. We can’t stop time. We can only slow time by doing what we love. Doing the things that make us feel alive. And I have never been more alive than when telling a story.

This is a book of bedtime stories for the living. Stories that, if I did my job well, slow time, and make you and me glad to be alive. These stories are real. Or as real as memory allows them to be. As I discovered, life is both a funny and a heartbreaking experience. These stories are the moments I want to share with you because I believe, deep in my dad heart, we all have stories worth sharing.

I came across an article about how, in the mid 1990’s, Dr. Marshall Duke and Dr. Robyn Fivush of Emory University developed and conducted a twenty question survey of children entitled, “Do You Know” which asked them about their families. The results showed that the more stories, both positive and negative, the children knew about their family’s history, the more resilient the children tended to be. As the study concluded, knowing family stories was “the single best predictor of children’s emotional health and happiness.” For better or worse, our family stories help us navigate our own troubles. Stories gift us courage when we’re afraid, offer direction when we’re lost, or comfort when we’re lonely.

Dear reader, please know that I’m humbled you are reading this book. Thank you. I hope my stories help you, give you permission to dream, and maybe give you the strength to tell your own stories. I hope you paid full price for this book because college for three ain’t free.

But if this book doesn’t offer my children financial prosperity, more than anything, this book is a gift for them. It’s a family history, an instruction manual, an honest reflection about a fleeting moment, a smile, a glance, and the goodnight kiss I often failed to give them.

Maybe one day, when they’re lost or confused or angry or sad or daydreaming about the prom queen, they will open this book and read a story or one of the letters I’ve written to them. Maybe my words will let them hear my voice again. Feel my lips pressed against their ears. And maybe they’ll know they’re not alone. That Dad is here. With them. Helping them through life forever.

Be well,
Jay

About the Author:In 2013, Jay Armstrong was diagnosed with diffuse cerebellar atrophy. A condition that causes dysfunctional motor skills, speech and vision impairments, and balance deficiencies. At the time of diagnosis, he was establishing himself as an endeared high school English teacher, a varsity soccer coach, and an above average dancer. However, the progressive disorder forced Jay to reevaluate his life.

Supported by his high school sweetheart turned wife (Cindy) and their three children (Haley, Chase, Dylan), Jay retired from teaching in 2021 to pursue his dream of becoming an author.

Jay believes in the power of storytelling. He also believes in dad jokes, laughter, and the unrelenting pursuit of dreams. Jay’s debut book, Bedtime Stories for the Living, is an episodic memoir in which Jay shows his children how to accept their limitations and find joy. The collection of tender, witty stories about fatherhood, persevering despite illness, and pursuing your dreams, demonstrates how love gives us the strength to face heartache with bravery, humor, and grace.

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Jay is passionate about Philly sports, soft pretzels, and Rocky Balboa.

Write On Fight On website | Author website | Facebook | Twitter

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How to prevent hair thinning by Rose Bonner – Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Rose Bonner will be awarding a free copy of the book and a hair scarf, U.S Only, to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

How to prevent hair thinning

Thinning hair is a natural part of getting older. Hold on, wait a minute. Hair loss on the top of your head can begin with a very simple process. Most people begin their showers when shampooing their hair by putting shampoo directly on top of their heads. Placing shampoo around your head and working it towards the top and back reduces over-stressing the top of your hair and allows even distribution preventing more thinning or loss. When you put shampoo on top of your head it causes more wear and tears over time. Changing where you start can make a big difference. Correctly shampooing your hair can be the most important step in preventing hair loss.

This book takes the mystery out of chemically treating your hair. Your hair can be cared for as simply as your fingernails. When you have a hair colour that does not compliment your style. You can fix it with solutions in our book. A well done relaxer requires certain steps to not mix to avoid breaking hair. Using a perm at home can be done. Learn the salon tricks to correct or complete a relaxer, perm or color without the common mistakes that leaves hair dry, broken and damaged. Just remember to trim your hair like you file your nails to keep hair healthy and strong. Be sure to leave a comment after you read the book.

Enjoy an Excerpt

Buying the best perms can present challenge when you need a professional license to go into the best supply chains for hair products, we help empower you to access the best top quality products. Page 29

About the Author Years ago, Rose was a sought-after cosmetologist who could apply or correct color without damage. She has done surveys and research into what consumers need when it comes to their hair. Now, she wants to share her experience to help others who are facing similar struggles. You don’t have to go to a salon. You can, but with her insider secrets in her new book, you can achieve a gorgeous salon look at home.

Website
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Cover Reveal – Improbable MD: From the Bayou to the Boardroom by Derek J. Robinson, MD

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotoins. The Literary Lobbyist will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

In Improbable MD, Dr. Derek J. Robinson traces his unlikely journey from fishing on the bayous of Louisiana, to an ER and helicopter flight physician in Chicago, to leadership in some of the US’ largest health care organizations.

The grandson of a sharecropper and son of a single mother, Derek grew up in a working-class neighborhood in Shreveport, LA. A graduate of the city’s public schools, he saw first-hand the difference that access to quality education and health care made within his own family. He shares how his dream of being a doctor became a reality, despite the odds, and why he believes mentoring and investing in young people is vital to the health of our nation.

Robinson takes the reader inside the ER, where he has treated victims of gun violence and shares how spilt-second clinical decisions and the trust of his patients, shaped his appreciation for being a doctor, But, even with many years of training, he exposes how it feels to reach the limits of what he can offer patients and even shares the pain and lessons he has learned from the illness and loss of family members. Beyond the walls of the ER, Dr. Robinson explains how we became a business leader in health care and influential voice in boardrooms.

Through sharing his inspirations and tribulations, Dr. Robinson inspires readers to push beyond both self-doubt and external obstacles to pursue their dreams. In telling his story, he shares the roles that faith, friendship, love, and fatherhood have played in his life, and he hopes to motivate readers to chart their own journeys to successful and fulfilling lives.

About the Author:

Derek J. Robinson is a board-certified physician in Emergency Medicine. He is vice president and chief medical officer at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, a division of Health Care Service Corporation – the nation’s largest non-investor owned health insurance company. In this role, he leads the care management operations division and serves as the company’s primary health care expert.

Dr. Robinson continues to provide clinical care to patients in the ER at the University of Illinois Chicago where he is a clinical associate professor of emergency medicine. His unique perspective on the complexities of healthcare, including his past service as a health care federal regulator, have enabled him to influence the transformation of health care for Americans. He has been featured on WTTW, WMAQ, WLS-TV, BNC, and other news outlets discussing important health care issues and social topics.

A native of Shreveport, LA. Dr. Robinson resides in Chicago, IL with his wife and two sons. When he is not working, he enjoys swimming, cycling, fishing, and spending time outdoors. For more on Derek Robinson and his memoir Improbable MD visit: http://www.DrDerekRobinson.com

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What kind of writer am I? by Chetoca Barfield – Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Chetoca Barfield will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

What kind of writer am I?

Hmm, what kind of writer am I? I have no idea. I know that isn’t the politically correct answer, but it is the truth. If you would have told me 5 years ago that I was destined to write a book. I would have laughed and thought you were crazy. I mean sure I thought about writing a book, but I’ve also thought about being a physician-scientist. During the pandemic I too was trying to figure out what life meant at that time.

That time of reflection led me down a spiritual path that I wasn’t ready to travel. Yet, there I was. God wanted me to surrender to His will, yet I wanted a different path. After several years of having this on and off discussion with God; when the pandemic occurred, there was no escaping the conversation. As much as I tried to avoid it there were constant reminders plaguing me. One day I gave up. I was tired of ducking and dodging God.

That road traveled led me to becoming an author. When I think of an “author” I think this is a person who has a considerable amount of writing skills. Uh, that is definitely not me. I am a better speaker than writer. For whatever reason I have always found it challenging to write things down on paper. I must say that when I wrote my first book the words just came to me. I know. Very much contradictory to not being good at writing things down on paper.

You’ve often heard how some writers have “writer’s block?” Yea, that wasn’t me. Once I began writing I wrote until I completed the book. I don’t know if that is a good thing or a bad thing, but that was my process. So, if you are still wondering what kind of writer am I? My response is I’m still figuring it out.

Join in on the fun as Ms. Nelly teaches her Sunday school class how to interact with God. Each story in this collection is ideal for reading aloud in just five minutes – a perfect fit for bedtime, story time, or anytime!

Enjoy an Excerpt

Class: Everyone in the class raise their hands except for Cindy.

Ms. Nelly: Thank you, class; please put your hands down. Cindy, would you like for me to repeat the question?

Cindy: No, Ms. Nelly. I believe Jesus loves me…when he’s not sleeping.

Ms. Nelly: Oh really, why would you say that?

Cindy: God isn’t answering my prayers so, I believe he has fallen asleep.

Class: Laughs

Bhatti: God doesn’t sleep, Cindy.

Ms. Nelly: You are right, Bhatti. God does not sleep.

Cindy: Ok, if you say so.

Ms. Nelly: Yes, I do. Class, today we are working on our next Sunday school program. Our program is all about the blessings of God. Each of you will share your story on how God bless you or how you witness God blessing someone else. Would anyone like to share their story?

Theo: Yes, Ms. Nelly. God allowed my mom to give me chocolate chip cookies as a snack. This was a blessing from GOD. Mom never lets me eat anything sweet.

Ms. Nelly: Very good, Theo.

Victoria: God blessed my lunchbox. God allowed my mom to give me a lot of food for lunch. I shared half of my lunch with my friend, who left her lunch bag at home.

Ms. Nelly: Victoria, that was nice of you to share your lunch with someone in need.

Class: Yes, Yep, very nice.

Connor: God blessed me with the best adopted parents ever, Ms. Nelly. They cook for me, they spend time with me, and they kiss me at night and tell me how much they love me.

Ms. Nelly: That’s wonderful, Connor.

About the Author:My name is Chetoca Barfield. I was born and raised in a small town located in Eastern North Carolina with my parents and 2 siblings; and older brother and younger sister. Growing up I had dreams of becoming a lawyer. There wasn’t anything that sparked this interest, but I knew early on in grade school that I loved to research and explain how things came to be.
Graduating from high school I knew that I would pursue criminal justice studies at Elizabeth City State University (i.e., ECSU) with hopes of having a career as a criminal prosecutor.
My freshman year in college I laid eyes on my dream guy who has been my husband for the last 19 years. I knew the moment I saw him walk out of the café I was going to marry him.

I know that may sound weird, but it’s the truth. Michael (my husband) and I didn’t begin dating until one year later. It’s funny how things happen, but that is a story for another day. In 2000 I graduated from ECSU and began working in corporate America a customer service representative. At the same time, I was studying to taking the LSAT to enter law school.

In 2003 Michael and I wed. Marriage was fun, enjoyable, and I didn’t want anything to interrupt our marital bliss 😊 except for the mini dachshund I adopted; his name is Baxter. Baxter was a welcomed interruption, but I thought that was all the interruption we needed. I made the decision to no longer pursue law school.

To be honest studying has never been my strong suit. Law school demands a lot of time and at that point in my life I wasn’t ready to commit. I enjoyed working in corporate America but knew staying in a customer service role wasn’t my “forever” career choice as I wanted to pursue a leadership role.

In 2006 I received my MBA degree from Strayer University. During this time my corporate career was starting to take off. I moved into a supervisory role and lead an operations team for a few years within the financial industry. In 2011, I was offered a higher-level leadership opportunity with a different financial institution.

It was the best decision I could have made for my career goals as I have thrived promotionally ever since. Leading teams for the last 15 years led me down an unexpected path; mentoring. I’ve mentored many colleagues and peers from a career development perspective. I must say this was an un-disclose passion that I didn’t know I had until I was knee deep in it.

As time progressed, mentoring evolved into to helping individuals, groups, etc. navigate life challenges. Growing up in my household my parents had a rule for my siblings and me. If we didn’t attend church on Sunday’s, we couldn’t go anywhere for the rest of the day. Every Sunday we were in church.

While I didn’t appreciate going to the church as much as I did at that time, I’m thankful that I did. It was through my Sunday school teacher that I learned how to develop a relationship with God. As I’ve grown in my walk with Christ this vital lesson has helped me through many difficult moments.

When COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020 all our lives were altered. The daily routines that were once in place was replaced with social isolation, mental health challenges, social injustice, and doubting faith. The need of having a healthy support system was magnified and this need lead to the birth of Treasured Possession.

Treasured Possession is a mentoring community that I created to provide encouragement, support, and tools to equip the body of Christ to lead healthy lives in body, mind, and spirit. The name Treasured Possession comes from Deuteronomy 7:6 (ESV) “For you are a holy people to the Lord your God; The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.”

You & I are his most Treasured Possession.

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