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MEMOIRS & HISTORY

A BREED APART: REFLECTIONS OF A YOUNG REFUGEE: A MIRACULOUS ESCAPE FROM RUSSIA: FROM DP CAMP TO COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY AND BEYOND by Professor Miriam Hoffman

A Remarkable Historical Journey and Legacy

From Siberia to Columbia University, this epic tale of war and survival is seen through the eyes of a young Miriam Hoffman and her father, Chaim Schmulewitz, a well-respected columnist of the Yiddish press Undzerweg. Highly personal and historic, A Breed Apart brings to light the oppression of the Soviet regime, the five-year history of the Displaced Persons Refugee Camps (DP camps) in Germany from 1946 to 1951, the struggles of post–World War II anti-Semitism, and Professor Hoffman’s coming of age in America.

Professor Miriam Hoffman earned her first Baccalaureate degree in 1957 from the Jewish Teachers Seminary in New York. She earned her second B.A. at the University of Miami and her Masters at Columbia University where she majored in Yiddish folklore and literature. As professor of Yiddish language, literature, Jewish culture, Yiddish humor, classical and minor Yiddish writers, and a course called 20th Century Yiddish Literature and Film, she taught at Columbia University from 1992 to 2015.

Miriam wrote the preeminent 700-page Yiddish textbook Key to Yiddish, which includes scholarly research, conversation, folklore, folktales, songs, and literary works by the most acclaimed Yiddish writers and poets. Key to Yiddish is now taught in many universities. She is a successful Yiddish playwright and the recipient of the Israeli Tony Award for her Yiddish translation of Neil Simon’s The Sunshine Boys. Miriam became the founder of the Joseph Papp Yiddish Theatre when famed Broadway impresario Joseph Papp produced her Yiddish/English musical Songs of Paradise. Her plays and translations have been produced to high acclaim worldwide.

Miriam has published thousands of articles as a feature writer for the Yiddish Forward since 1982. Since her retirement from Columbia, Professor Hoffman has stayed busy writing and lecturing worldwide. Visit her website at www.miriamhoffman.com

 

19TH CENTURY QUOTES FOR 21ST CENTURY LIVING by Anna Donovan and Ellen Ratner

Containing the biographies of fifteen well-known historical figures—such as Mary Todd Lincoln and Sojourner Truth—and with more than 400 quotes from dozens of popular publications and individuals, this inspirational book offers “timely” nineteenth-century wisdom for our twenty-first century world. You’re sure to recognize many of these truths as eternal—adages you may already have adopted into your life.

As Anna Donovan and Ellen Ratner were researching the topic of mental healing almost a quarter-century ago, they began to notice how rich and meaningful the Spiritualist quotes were to our current times—as relevant today as they were when written, most of them well over 125 years ago.

Working individually, the authors gradually fell under the spell of the enlightened voices behind these messages, finding them to be a guiding force in the desire to turn difficulties and frustrations into positive efforts.

Knowing with absolute certainty the power in these beneficial and healing words, their enthusiasm piqued. In a simultaneous moment of inspiration, they turned to each other and expressed their desire to share these quotes with others. In this moment, 19th Century Quotes for 21st Century Living was conceived.

The American social climate today is similar to that of the mid-19th century. Political, social, spiritual, and emotional unrest has created a great need in many people to seek beyond traditional experiences for a fulfilling life in place of turmoil. At first glance, these often-labeled “new moments” appear to be provocative teachings and philosophies. A closer examination reveals them to be in line with early Spiritualist philosophy.

Some of these quotes and messages are in direct opposition to each other—but then, so much is in life…

Anna Donovan is a professional researcher in many different fields, including history and addictions.

Ellen Ratner is an ordained Spiritualist minister at Church of the Living Spirit in Lily Dale, New York. She is also a media correspondent for Talk Media News, covering the White House and the United Nations.

 

ATTITUDE DETERMINES ALTITUDE: OUR ROLLER-COASTER JOURNEY THROUGH STAGE 4 CANCER by Leo Dugo

Dealing with cancer at any age is not easy, and it is hard to stay focused and keep a good attitude. However, keeping a positive outlook and one’s sense of humor are two of the things that cancer survivor Leo Dugo found helped him and his family get through his battle against Stage 4 cancer . . . especially the humor part.

Attitude Determines Altitude takes you through the Dugo family’s roller-coaster cancer journey in the form of his CaringBridge Journal entries and present-day thoughts. Sprinkled with humor, these writings helped lighten the bad days and made the good days better—and, hopefully, they will do that for you, too.

As Leo’s father, a pilot, taught his son, the aviation phrase “attitude determines altitude” translates into everything we do in life. In other words, the better our attitude, the better our life!

Leo Dugo worked in the construction industry in the industrial sector for forty-one years in the Midwest USA. He was born, raised, and lives in St. Louis with his wife, Debra, in the house they built themselves in 1984. They have two adult daughters, Amanda and Jessica, and four grandchildren. Leo’s hobbies are woodworking and playing golf with Debra.

 

I: UNNAMEABLE by Jeffrey R. Fidel, MD

The Fascinating Account of a Medical Doctor’s Inward Journey to Free Himself of Mental Suffering

The diagnosis of Bipolar 1 Disorder—by medical decree and societal perception—is a lifelong sentence: unless you take and stay on prescription medicine you cannot function as a “normal, sane member of society.” But Jeffrey R Fidel, a MD himself, is proof that is not true. He got there by turning off the voices in his head and listening to the one voice that counts—the one in his heart.

In this beautiful, masterful and minimalist book Jeffrey Fidel provides insight into his story and how he used the ancient teachings of Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching to connect to the “voice within” that teaches our true identity is “beyond thought” and that we and the universe are One. Jeffrey relates how he spent most of his life identifying with the I that was the I in his mind–the one that said he must achieve great things in order to exist – the one that drove him to become a doctor in order to meet other people’s expectations, despite a part of him that resisted them; the one that said he would be happy if he lived the “American dream” of an exalted professional, family man and financial success. This was the “I” of his ego.

He was miserable but the critical voices in his head kept getting louder. When they reached a crescendo, it drove him to seek a psychiatrist. Jeffrey was diagnosed with Bipolar 1 Disorder and placed on antipsychotic drugs.

Feeling numbed by his “chemical lobotomy” he continued to “fit into” society as an individual and practicing physician. Yet, nothing in his life was right—his marriage was falling apart, he still had an inner struggle that he didn’t want to practice medicine, and even his beloved dog died. Through many ups and downs and searching, he came to the Tao Te Ching. It spoke to him and awakened his awareness that there was another voice, a quiet one that spoke truth to him, a voice that connected him to all that is. Then, he knew that he was not his Mind, he was energetic essence, something unknowable and unlimited. When, through a year of deep solitude, he became convinced following this voice was the real path to a life of mental and emotional freedom, he tapered off his meds, quit his medical practice and focused on living the life directed by that inner voice.

Today, Jeffrey lives a contented, complete, humble and drug-free life in Florida—living in the present moment—and spreading the word for others who have been diagnosed as depressed, mentally ill or Bipolar that he has found another way to end mental suffering. As he tells his story, he is an inspiration to others that listening to the “one voice that counts” may provide a different path to peace and a new way to live.

Jeffrey R. Fidel, MD, refuses to live his life medicated for Bipolar 1 disorder. In near complete solitude, he endured over a full year of intense mental anguish. Utilizing mainly the ancient teachings of Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching, he learned how to connect to a voice originating from his heart.Dr. Fidel is now sharing these ancient teachings to help others discover their answer inside. He says, “By quieting the constant chattering of our minds, we begin to hear the inner voice that originates from our hearts. By surrendering the ‘thought of who we are,’ we can begin to accept this inner voice as our teacher. This inner voice teaches us that we are one.”

 

LETTERS TO KELSEA: LIFE AFTER DEATH by Tracy Lyn Lawler

It’s hard to cope when you know you’re sick . . .

Tracy Lyn Lawler has experienced tragedy in her life on more than one occasion. The latest event occurred ten years ago and changed her life in a moment. Before that normal, warm summer morning, her life had been good. She had a new husband and her daughter was getting ready to start her final year in high school.

Never did she expect to open her daughter’s bedroom door—alarm sounding off—and not be able to wake her up. And to find out she passed away at the hands of her friend’s mother. This was supposed to be the first day of her senior year. She was supposed to be jumping up out of bed, ecstatic and in anticipation of meeting all her friends at school . . .

Instead, the very next day, Tracy was picking out a casket for her beautiful 17-year-old daughter. She was trying to find her a final resting place. She was planning a funeral service at the church. She was trying to breathe. . . .

Tracy began writing her daughter a letter every night right before going to bed. She looked forward to this as it seemed to bring her peace. She wrote about everything she was experiencing: divorce, cancer, losing her job, an arrest, trial and conviction. And, as difficult as it was, she would journal where she had been personally with each passing month.

Tracy died that day with her daughter . . . yet through these letters and journals, she began to breathe again. With each passing day, month, and year, she learned to experience laughter, happiness, peace, and love again. Instead of living life in black and white, Tracy began to see glimpses of color. Today, she lives life in full color once again.

Tracy Lyn Lawler lives in San Diego, California, with her husband and son. She began a business in Kelsea’s honor renting out frozen drink machines, and recently opened up a craft brewery with her husband. It took ten years to complete this book, but she knew when the time was right it would be published. She looks forward to writing another book that will include the poetry Kelsea has written.

 

THE BOYKIN BOY: A MEMOIR by Dennis L. Boykin

The Boykin Boy is a truly unique, heartwarming and sometimes humorous novelized memoir that details the life of an orphan boy during the Great Depression of the 1930s as he travels from the cotton fields of Texas to an isolated working ranch in Wyoming.

The story begins with the Boykin boy’s early childhood and youth, and entertainingly continues to the end of his high school years. In early childhood the boy was subjected to the cruelty of the migrant workers’ lives and witnessed the horrors of his parent’s ways of dealing with the difficulties.

At age twelve he was abandoned by his father and permanently separated from his mother and eleven brothers and sisters. All this, plus earlier abuse from his father’s insane alcoholic rages, left the boy scarred in his body and mind. But the boy’s enthusiasm for life remained strong. Learning to read and write at the age of twelve, finishing grade and high school, and earning a college degree all in just ten short years, are accomplishments more privileged children seldom dream about. With incredibly hard work, ambition, persistence, curiosity and the desire to learn, the boy became a man of responsibility, honor and respect.

The life of this boy and man is a perfect contradiction to the weak and evasive attitude, “My parents made me do it.” Bad parents, broken bones, partial deafness and stuttering will not stop a determined boy from becoming an honorable and successful man!

Dennis Boykin is a lifelong agriculturalist and conservationist who, after graduating from the University of Wyoming, enjoyed a successful career with the USDA Soil Conservation Service before becoming an independent rancher and businessman. Boykin is also a published newspaper columnist on the subject of natural resources conservation, and author of the memoir The Boykin Boy and the novel Carson’s Lease.

 

THE BAHSHERT OF SOUTH DELANCEY PLACE by Helene Parris

A quintessential town’s fall from grace. A family in strife bound by faith and resilience. An inglorious return from a seditious war, whose shrouded secrets take on a life of their own. Of those who returned and those who did not. The before and the after of wars that consumed the lives of so many innocents. And one woman’s personal battle to defy the odds, proffer hope to many, and embrace life. A novel of tribute to the fallen, the forgotten, and to all those who overcome, In Silent Triumph.

On a sweltering summer’s day, a man of great faith and observance, climbs under the belly of a time-worn but steady jalopy, secures the over-fatigued muffler with a rope, and readies his family for a journey of great uncertainty. With a discerning wife by his side and two young children huddled together in the rumble seat, they set off along the nondescript back roads that will lead them from one unfamiliar junction to yet another. With the soft summer breeze their singular illusory navigational instrument, all that follows will be left to providence.

The year was 1949. And over the subsequent decades, every aspect of each of their lives becomes an irrefutable test of human resolve. And as a war of contempt escalates, bearing profound loss, purpose and spirit lamentably wane. Secrets long-fastened by threads of silence brace for reckoning. While a once burgeoning resort town bears witness to its own oppressive decline, the “American Dream” for the ever-tenacious effects a somewhat fragile and imprudent cruel hoax.

Blending history with personal ordeal, the author takes us from the loss of innocence along a path of vulnerability, loss and untold challenges impugned. As Depression’s artful deception and Cancer’s devious and callous ruse threaten her very existence, she battles both to win the war. With total candor, unyielding faith, and an innate sense-of-humor, together with the author, the reader climbs the virtual lifeline, ultimately enlightened and consummately uplifted.

Debut novelist Helene Parris weaves a novel of familial expectations, untimely choices and the forces that prevail when Providence transcends chance. Born in Philadelphia, and raised in the-city-by-the-sea, she has resided in South Florida for many years. While several of her short stories and poetry have been printed, The Bahshert of South Delancey Place is the author’s first book.

 

BIOGRAPHIES OF OUR PATERNAL FAMILY HISTORY by Marc D. Thompson

Jack Teaches KidSafe cover“Honor your own stories and tell them too . . . they are what binds families and makes each of us who we are.”

If you don’t recount your family history, it will be lost. The tales may not seem very important, but they are what binds families and makes each of us who we are.

Biographies of Our Paternal Family History includes Thompson, Russell, Penman, Stoddart, Goodman, Brown, Carl, Hensel, Guise, Workman, Romberger, Updegrove, Reisch, Culp, Schneck, Batdorf, Steiner, Welker, Messerschmidt, Peters, DeHart, Swartz, Koval, Wert, Faber, Shoop, Wertz, Row, Rudy, Frantz, Gieseman, Duncan, Westphals, Kelling, Koppelmann, McCloud, Searfoss, Kankle, Layman, Klein, Raymond, Roush, Overlander, Warner, Gipe, Drust, Anderson, Arnold, Bordner, Emerich, Gaugler, Kelly, Shaffer, Keefer, Arnold, Bucher, Mantz, Livezly, Culin, Kent, Roberts, et. al, from South- central England, Southeast Scotland, Ireland, East Finland, Central Sweden, South and Northeast Germany, and Northcentral Switzerland emigrated to Pennsylvania, New York, Virginia, and Louisiana.

Marc D. Thompson delved into writing and researching at a very early age. As a youngster, he wrote stories, poems, lyrics, and articles. Marc continued putting pen to paper and studying genealogy throughout college, earning a B.S. degree from Moravian College. He has presented genealogical lectures and authored numerous family histories for himself and others.

Marc’s other published works include Compendium of Virtual and Traditional Fitness, The Fitness Book of Lists, Virtual Personal Training Manual, Fitness Quotes of Humorous Inspiration, and Poems of Eternal Moments. He wrote a monthly genealogy column for Atlantic Avenue Magazine and currently pens a monthly genealogy and fitness blog at www.marcdthompson.net.

Marc is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, founder of a Pennsylvania Genealogy Society, and was the County Coordinator of the USGenweb Chatham Co, GA site. He believes in Creatalytical Thinking: the fusion of creativity and analysis to view life more fully and fulfill his place in this world. Writing now for over four decades, Marc has been influenced by history, science, art, and relationships, and marvels at the cosmically-driven direction he receives each day from energy around him to record his ideas and research.

 

BOO-COO DINKY DOW: VERY CRAZY IN THE HEAD IN VIETNAM (AND BEYOND) by Dan Matrisciani, 173rd Assault Helicopter Company

Boo-Coo Dinky Dow_Web coverAm I sorry I went to Vietnam? Would I do the same thing over again? I made some good friends over there and maybe the experience helped shape who I would be in later life.

All I really know is, it don’t mean a thing.

Dan Matrisciani was drafted into the Vietnam War in 1964. He proved to be a talented ship mechanic, and moved his way up to E4 Specialist with the 173rd Assault Helicopter Company. He was crew chief on his ship 4-1-9 and a proud member of The Robin Hoods. Dan currently resides with his wife, Margie, in South Florida.

 

 

AT THE ESPLANADE: JOURNAL OF HAROLD DAVIS • 1996–2000 by Harold Davis

At the Esplanade_web coverHarold Davis was born over his father’s saloon on the corner of Houston and Orchard Streets in New York City on July 10, 1904. He was a practicing lawyer for more than 65 years.

At the age of 91, he moved to a senior residence at The Esplanade on West End Avenue in Manhattan. He began writing this Journal as a way to keep in touch with family and friends, and also, it is clear, as a way to come to grips with a radical change in his life: he was now, for the first time in a long life, alone.

At first, he was appalled by what he saw as the physical ugliness of his elderly fellow-residents, but after a few weeks he had an epiphany of sorts and realized there was beauty, intellect and talent inside their ruined, aged shells.

He told stories in his Journal about:

  • Selling hotdogs at the Dempsey-Carpentier fight in 1921
  • Attending the Pickle Shul on Ludlow Street
  • His wonderful, tiny teacher, Miss Murray, in 1-A and 1-B
  • His mother and father
  • Being told by the dean of admissions at NYU that they couldn’t accept him because the 5% Jewish quota had already been filled.

The Journal, then, is partly a lesson in aging, partly a family chronicle, and partly a glimpse at one man’s passage through the 20th century.

 

GETTING OVER GROWING OLDER: HOW TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE BY STAYING POSITIVE by Brigitte Nioche

Getting Over Gowing Older_Web coverNo matter how old you are, staying positive will keep you young.

In our youth-oriented culture, growing older is a challenge for millions of baby boomers. In this down-to-earth guide, entrepreneur, fashion consultant, and former model Brigitte Nioche shares her personal experience of growing older, staying positive, and preparing for the challenges ahead.

Through her charming, often self-effacing memoir, accentuated by cartoons from The New Yorker that spotlight the ups and downs of growing older, you’ll learn how to embrace this chapter of your life as a new beginning that can open up a world filled with joy and happiness.

To help you find your way, Brigitte shares:

  • her secrets for staying young and healthy,
  • advice on using makeup and clothing to look younger and feel better,
  • why you’re never too old for sex,
  • ideas for staying connected in a changing world,
  • tips for maintaining a positive outlook as you age.

If you are not ready to be old, it’s time for Getting Over Growing Older.

Brigitte Nioche is the author of The Sensual Dresser, Dress to Impress, and What Turns Men On. Born in Germany, she lived in Australia and Europe before moving to the United States. She is a long-time resident of New York City and a proud mother and doting grandmother who plans to never “grow old.”

 

PER SEMPRE MEANS FOREVER: A LEGACY OF LOVE by Roe Pagano

Per Sempre_web coverPer Sempre Means Forever is a journey across space and time that follows the lives of the Bacarro and Fellini families through post-WWII America and Italy, offering a glimpse into the complex processes of life, loss, and love. The flavors of old-world Italy permeate each page, heightening the senses and making every memory more vivid than the scenery itself.

In a time when cultural traditions and post-war hardships dominate life, Laura Bacarro and Enzo Fellini struggle to find their path to one another, led by the kind hands of their loved ones and thwarted by those who aim to destroy their love before it truly begins to blossom. Laura and Enzo’s lives are an interwoven tapestry, joined together by a host of kindred spirits and a thread of fate that connects them and brings them together out of the ruin of war, loss, and grief. Readers will immediately identify with and come to love the cast of characters as the story unfolds. Theirs is the ever-familiar but ceaselessly beautiful tale of family ties, lifelong grudges, and the true meaning of promises.

Per Sempre Means Forever carries readers along a path of secrets, deceit, grief, acceptance, and growth while sharing the love and loss Laura and Enzo experience over the course of their lifetime. Here is an adventure of sorrow and joy that celebrates the lives of two determined and beautiful people who were destined to be together . . . per sempre.

Roe Pagano was born in New York into a proud Italian heritage and made her first foray into professional writing with Per Sempre Means Forever: A Legacy of Love, which is based on the epic tale of how her parents met and married. Roe has owned and operated a successful interior design firm for twenty-five years, and her creative passion has taken her from South Florida to many neighboring states and into the northeast. From residential homes as well as commercial properties, Roe is well versed in her field. She is a passionate student of architecture, design, business, and creative writing. She lives in South Florida with her husband and three children.

 

INVISIBLE TARGET: BREAKING THE CYCLE OF EDUCATOR SEXUAL ABUSE by Andrea Clemens

Invisible Target_web coverInvisible Target is a true, detailed account of one girl’s experience of educator sexual abuse at the hands of her middle school teacher. It follows her journey, beginning with her tumultuous childhood, meeting the teacher, and the grooming process he created to lure her into a false sense of trust and ultimate betrayal. After years of abuse and manipulation, she finally found the courage to bravely break away from her abuser.

With excerpts from newspaper articles and an actual court impact statement, this book gives you a clear picture of how the epidemic of educator sexual abuse begins, progresses, and affects so many innocent lives.

Invisible Target is more than a memoir. With thought-provoking questions at the close of each chapter, this book serves as a strong educational tool for students, parents, teachers, and administrators by shedding light on the dynamics of educator sexual abuse so that school can be a safe haven for every child.

Andrea Clemens received her master’s degree from Boston University in clinical social work. She has been educating school faculty, students, administrators, parenting groups, mentors, and the general public about educator sexual abuse for over ten years. She has participated in both local and national radio, television, and news programs, and she has dedicated her life to sharing her story with others so that schools can provide the safe environments that students deserve.

 

THE SOUL ADVENTURE GUIDE: 7 PRINCIPLES FOR SUCCESSFUL LIVING, FEATURING MY TRUE HOLLYWOOD STORY by Bobby Fite

Soul Adventure Guide_Web coverYOU CAN CREATE A BETTER LIFE!

In this entertaining and deeply insightful guide, Bobby Fite shares a wealth of life experience derived from his True Hollywood Story—an inspiring personal comeback from life-threatening depression and a remarkable 22-year spiritual journey.

This powerful book is not a series of lofty intellectual theories; it’s a collection of essential life lessons, key spiritual insights, and universal principles that WILL change your life! These “truths about living” are presented in a way that’s unique, highly relatable, and refreshingly real.

In The Soul Adventure Guide, you will discover how to:

  • Achieve the goals of this life and live in harmony with natural spiritual laws
  • Enjoy true spiritual growth and freedom
  • Experience the deep satisfaction of the spiritual energies within you and transform your life into an exciting adventure
  • Increase personal peace by learning how to shift negative feelings
  • Create financial prosperity while avoiding the seductive path of materialism

Bobby Fite was a successful teenage actor in the eighties who became a recurring character on the hit sitcom Silver Spoons. As a teen, he performed in movies with some of Hollywood’s biggest stars. As an adult, he’s distinguished himself as a top-producing sales professional with the largest homebuilder in the U.S.

 

THE BUTTERFLY KNIGHT: A MOTHER’S COURAGEOUS JOURNEY FROM FEAR TO FREEDOM by Angie Cross

The Butterfly Knight_Web coverAs a mother of two young boys, one repeatedly hospitalized due to complications from Goldenhar syndrome, which continuously threatened his life, Angie Cross wanted to define her role in the lives of her children. As she strived to define herself, she was haunted by an image from her childhood of the butterfly collections in her father’s entomology lab. There, displayed on a table in front of her, were a dozen beautiful wooden boxes with glass lids, handmade by her father. Each one contained the most unique, fragile, and exquisite jewels she had ever seen. As she ran her fingers gingerly over the surface of each box, pressing her nose to the glass, she could see that each winged beauty was carefully and painstakingly categorized, organized, labeled, and pinned to a white background. As this recollection pierced her heart, a shocking question began to rise from the deep. In her desperate attempt to understand her impact and position in the journey of her two sons’ lives, had she painstakingly placed them in a similar box? And then, from an even deeper place, was she in such a box of her own?

Angie Cross has been an occupational therapist for twenty years. She currently works for a pediatric home health company, assisting children living in foster care. She also enjoys teaching art and serving on the board at her sons’ private school, whose mission is to celebrate the unique learning styles of every child. Angie lives in Texas with her husband, Joe, and their two sons, Gabe and Will.

 

BECAUSE YOU BELIEVED IN ME, VOL. 1: MENTORS AND PROTEGES WHO SHAPED OUR WORLD by Marcia A. McMullen and Patricia M. Miller

Because You Believed 1_Web cover“The true magic of life lies in it linkages—relationships between people which have the power to change the world. The authors have captured many of these wonderful stories of mentorship, proving that greatness most often happens not by chance but by the thoughtful caring of one person for another.”—Marilyn Carlson Nelson, Chair and CEO, Carlson Companies

“An uplifting and beautifully written exploration of the influence of mentoring on individual lives and on the history of humankind.”—Jay Winsten, Ph.D., Director, Harvard University Mentoring Project; Associate Dean, Harvard School of Public Health

It only takes one—one person, one unexpected possibility, one ordinary moment of insight to create a life-changing experience. Who was the one person who took that moment and offered needed encouragement or created an opportunity that inspired you in ways never imagined?

Mentors see you as you are and awaken the potential for what you could be. They often appear in varied roles: teachers, family members, professional colleagues, or friends. Because You Believed in Me illuminates mentoring with historical examples. These vivid stories recount hopeful perseverance, invigorating collaboration, and the generous sharing of wisdom.

Marcia McMullen, inspired by outstanding mentors, combined her research and teaching experience to design and implement a one-to-one mentoring program for youth, for which she has served as executive director.

Patricia Miller entered the mentoring field several years ago, bringing her expertise in strategic program planning and organizational management. She is a fellow of the Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership at the University of Missouri at Kansas City.

 

BECAUSE YOU BELIEVED IN ME, VOL 2: CONTEMPORARY MENTORING STORIES by Marcia A. McMullen

Because You Believed 2_Web cover“Because you Believed in Me is a luminous and poignant work about generosity and mentorship. This tribute to those who’ve inspired and nurtured us will serve as an inspiration to all who read it—the wisdom contained within is priceless!”—Dave Isay, Founder of StoryCorps

“These personal stories showcase the profound and lasting impact a mentor can have.  Mentoring relationships, in particular for women, are critical to fostering the entrepreneurial spirit and helping to bridge the gap between confidence and capability.”—Ambassador Melanne Verveer, Executive Director, Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security

“We’re all at our best when truly inspired and this book artfully illustrates how a powerful mentorship, while exceedingly rare, can be the single greatest source of that inspiration.”—Brienne Ghafourifar, Co-Founder, Entefy, Inc.

“Because You Believed In Me offers a compelling glimpse into one of the most critical elements of success: the mentor/protégé relationship. Each story is told from a vulnerable and candid perspective, and the lessons are timeless. A must-read for mentors and protégés alike.”—Charles Best, Founder, Donors Choose

Marcia McMullen is a writer, researcher and author. Inspired by outstanding mentors she became fascinated by the reach of key relationships and connecting elements and their influence on the personal narrative.

IN PINK: THE PERSONAL STORY OF A MARY KAY PIONEER WHO MADE HISTORY SHAPING A NEW PATH TO SUCCESS FOR WOMEN by Doretha Dingler

In Pink_Web CoverIn Pink is the memoir of a self-made woman who succeeded on her own terms by seizing the opportunity created by Mary Kay Ash when she founded her unique company at the very epoch of the women’s movement in America. From humble beginnings bidding peas for her family’s east Texas agri-business to overseeing a multi-million dollar international cosmetics enterprise, In Pink is the uniquely feminine success story of a woman who attained her dreams while staying true to the perennial Mary Kay values of “God first, family second, and career third.”

In Pink is also the memoir of a generation of women who came of age at a time when women were just beginning to find their voice in the corporate world and redefine their role as equals among their male counterparts. Using the Mary Kay model, Doretha Dingler became a business owner in the deep south in the 1960s, when a woman still had to have her husband’s signature to obtain a loan, and ultimately came to lead a sales force comprised of thousands of like-minded women determined to achieve success on their own terms.

Over a nearly forty year career with Mary Kay Inc., Doretha Dingler went from being put on notice of impending termination as a consultant to the very top of the Mary Kay sales force, retiring as the No. 1 Elite Executive Independent National Sales Director (NSD) worldwide. She was one of only five NSDs to have reached that No. 1 status at the time of her retirement, with more than $10,000,000 in career earnings.

Doretha Dingler is an Elite Executive Independent National Sales Director Emeritus of Mary Kay, Inc. Joining the company shortly after it was founded by Mary Kay Ash in the early sixties, Doretha worked closely with Mary Kay from the company’s early years until her passing in 2001 and still considers her the most ­significant role model for women in business today. After retiring from a nearly forty-year career, Doretha still devotes time to writing, teaching, and encouraging others to continue Mary Kay’s priceless legacy of empowering women. A special plaque is being displayed in Mary Kay world headquarters recognizing the seven NSDs in the fifty-year history of this multi-billion dollar company who have reached the pinnacle of the sales force by attaining the coveted No. 1 position in commissions nationally. Upon her retirement, Doretha was the fifth NSD to have earned this prestigious title.

 

CAN’T IS NOT AN OPTION: BENNY THE BOOK’S BOOK by Gerald Leberfeld

Cant Is Not an Option_web coverWhat exactly is the American dream? Jerry Leberfeld began as a poor Jewish kid in Rockaway Beach and ended up as an entrepreneur who counts politicians, business icons, and celebrities as the same kind of friends as the guys he grew up with.

For him, living the American dream is striving to reach your potential without forgetting your roots. He paints an entertaining picture of growing up in Rockaway Beach during its glory days, falling in love and marrying Aviva (his life companion and a Holocaust survivor), graduating from college as the first in his family to do so, and entering the corporate world at a time when anti-Semitism was still rampant.

After 18 years in corporate America, Jerry walked away from security to pursue his entrepreneurial dreams. He founded four successful companies over the next decades, including Art Expo, the largest and most successful fine arts fair ever. He enjoyed special relationships with celebrity artists including Andy Warhol, Peter Max, Tony Bennett, Marcel Marceau, Luciano Pavarotti, Donna Summer, Salvador Dali, Erté, and famous politicians, including New York City Mayor Ed Koch and New York Senator Jacob Javits.

Even after being stricken with the debilitating autoimmune disease myasthenia gravis at age 73, Jerry focused on what he could still do, not what the illness took from him. Today, Jerry acts in local theater, consults with future entrepreneurs, and fortunately for us, he picked up his pen.

Woven throughout the book are instructive details and fascinating anecdotes on how to survive the bureaucracy of government and union pressures as well as Jerry’s lists of guidelines and rules of how to start and succeed in a new business.

Jerry believes that the times we live in now aren’t as bright as they were when he was growing up, and he is far from certain about the future of his grandchildren’s generation. In Can’t Is Not an Option, he shares Horatio Alger-type stories to help keep this current generation’s dreams alive and offers advice gleaned from his almost 80 years of hard work and living the American dream.

Jerry Leberfeld is a former executive with Olivetti-Underwood and Prentice-Hall who decided to leave the security of corporate America to pursue his dream of entrepreneurial success. Perhaps best known as the creator of Art Expo, the largest fine-art exhibition in the world, Leberfeld pursued the American Dream while staying close to his roots. He is proud to be known as “Benny the Book” by friends he’s had since the 1950s, “Jerry” by celebrities such as Peter Max, Tony Bennett, and Ed Koch, “Dad” by his son and daughter, “Grandpa” by his two beautiful granddaughters, and “Best Friend” by his wife of 55 years, Aviva.

 

RICKRADIO CONFIDENTIAL: CONFESSIONS OF AN AD MAN by Rick Charnack

Happy woman jumping in golden wheatWhile most listen to radio for its music and personalities, there exists a critical business element: advertising. Radio stations employ salespersons to contact local businesses, where they sometime go to “extremes” to sell ads on their station. As I climbed the ladder of success in the fast-paced, cutthroat world of radio sales, I encountered and participated in my share of questionable entertainment, including outlandish clients, drug abuse, and shady characters.

This provocative behind-the-scenes look at the sordid underbelly of radio advertising offers a titillating perspective never revealed before. You’ll howl with laughter as you read about how I made a living during my adventures in the South Florida radio biz!

Rick Charnack is a well-known and respected radio professional who has built a reputation for his creative approach to selling and marketing radio commercials and managing high performance sales teams. He’s consulted companies and conceived promotional programs for clients including Walt Disney World, Pepsico, British Airways and Carnival Cruise Lines. Rick currently resides near Hollywood, Florida, is single, and spends his time writing.  You might find Rick at Your Big Picture Café in Davie, Florida, his “home away from home,” working on his first novel. He maintains a close relationship with his daughter, Liza, who resides in New York City and who Rick describes as “the greatest gift of my life.”

 

IF THE PINK SHOE FITS: A GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY TRIBUTE TO MARY KAY ASH CELEBRATING HER FIFTY-YEAR LEGACY OF CREATING OPPORTUNITIES FOR WOMEN WORLDWIDE by Doretha Dingler

Happy woman jumping in golden wheatTaking advantage of the flexibility of the Mary Kay opportunity, Doretha spent the first three years of her Mary Kay career focused more on motherhood and taking care of her family until she received the now infamous termination letter. Motivated by the “inspiration of termination,” she set her first real goal and sprang into action, debuting as a Director six months later and setting the trajectory for a career that would make her one of the most successful women in the history of Mary Kay. Almost forty years later, Doretha retired as the Number One Elite Executive Independent National Sales Director (“NSD”) worldwide with over $10,000,000 in career earnings. She was also the first NSD in the history of the Company to earn over $100,000 in one month and the first to be “on-target” for a million-dollar year as she led a $66,700,000 international sales force known in Mary Kay parlance as the “Dingler Area.”

Doretha Dingler is an Elite Executive Independent National Sales Director Emeritus of Mary Kay, Inc. Joining the company shortly after it was founded by Mary Kay Ash in the early sixties, Doretha worked closely with Mary Kay from the company’s early years until her passing in 2001 and still considers her the most ­significant role model for women in business today. After retiring from a nearly forty-year career, Doretha still devotes time to writing, teaching, and encouraging others to continue Mary Kay’s priceless legacy of empowering women. A special plaque is being displayed in Mary Kay world headquarters recognizing the seven NSDs in the fifty-year history of this multi-billion dollar company who have reached the pinnacle of the sales force by attaining the coveted No. 1 position in commissions nationally. Upon her retirement, Doretha was the fifth NSD to have earned this prestigious title.

 

DON’T LET ME DIE DIRTY by Carlie Thrasher Downey

Don't Let Me Die Di#24CA66ADon’t Let Me Die Dirty is the inspiring story of Cecil Downey, who, after joining the Marines at age seventeen to escape the hardship of growing up as one of twelve children in depression-era poverty, lost both legs, but not his indomitable spirit, in the battle of Iwo Jima. Not expected to live, Cecil was given last rites but refused to give up, asking only, “Give me a chance, that’s all I ask—just give me a chance!” Well, Cecil made the most of that chance by recovering against all odds and eventually dedicating his life to God and the ministry, continuing to preach and witness to those in need until his death at age eighty-three. Don’t Let Me Die Dirty is also a love story and proof that we can find our soul mate at any age, just as Cecil did when he married the author, Carlie Thrasher Downey, at eighty years old and, as you will read, lived happily ever after.

Carlie Thrasher Downey is an author and Contemporary Christian singer/songwriter who makes her home among her many friends and family in east Texas.

 

MEETING FREEDOM: HOW I LET GO OF WHO I THOUGHT I SHOULD BE AND REVEALED MY AUTHENTIC, UNSTOPPABLE SELF by Cynthia S. Belmer

Meeting Freedom_Web coverA Journey to Self-Love and Liberty

Seeking the true meaning of freedom, a young Lebanese woman turns her back on all she knows to explore her personal truth without fear of judgment. The first among the women in her family line to leave Lebanon and live independently, Cynthia Belmer displays true courage and motivation in her quest for personal fulfillment.

In Meeting Freedom, you will journey alongside Cynthia as she faces her fears head-on, including her family’s devastating financial crisis, war and terrorism, judgment, rejection, personal struggles, loneliness, and conflict in relationship. The author then beautifully turns these life lessons inside-out to offer you inspirational coaching questions as they relate to each chapter.

Using her years of experience as a life coach, Cynthia shares her engaging story with the purpose of helping you take a closer look at your own fears and dreams, and break free from your own struggles.

Cynthia Belmer is a life coach, an inspirational author, an entrepreneur, and soon to be the creator of Vulnerable Self magazine. She coaches ambitious women from all over the world to fall in love with who they are and create a lasting love story. Cynthia is a truth seeker and currently lives in Atlanta with her husband and three dogs. Visit her inspiring sanctuary where she writes regularly at www.cynthiabelmer.com.

 

DESCENDING BABEL by David Zweibel

From Descending Babel . . .

“Of course gestures also played a critical role in our attempt to communicate. With it, I came to understand the eloquence of Ingrid’s silence and the power of her disarming smile. Ultimately, I was content to know we two shared a meeting of the minds as well as the hearts, which proved to be more intelligible and more meaningful than the spoken word could ever be.”

“By my adulatory description of Ingrid, one might think I was married to Mother Teresa—minus the celibacy bit, of course—yet, I can assure you, despite her many redeeming traits, Ingrid did have her peccadilloes, which proper breeding and a strong survival instinct prohibit me from discussing.”

This is a story of love, overcoming barriers, and finding the person you can spend your whole life with. In Descending Babel, author David Zweibel recounts the moving events that shaped his life. From his fateful trip to Israel as a young man, where he met and fell in love with fellow student Ingrid from South America, to meeting her family and trying to communicate with them, to getting married and having three wonderful children. This book will make you laugh, make you cry, and ultimately marvel at how love is a language that can overcome obstacles and help us all understand one another.

Written as a gift to the author’s wife, this title is not available for purchase, but we are proud to have been part of its production nonetheless.

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