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Archive for March, 2015

Audio Book Fiction Review – The Brave

Thursday, March 19th, 2015


The Brave by Nicholas Evans


Review by Mirah Welday (mwelday)


I have enjoyed several novels by Nicholas Evans, most notably The Loop and The Smoke Jumper.  I like that Evans’ books have a particular rawness to them.  It’s almost like I should feel bad for intruding on the characters’ stories but it’s too interesting to be ignored.

I recently listened to The Brave audio book (read by Michael Emerson from tv’s Person of Interest).  Growing up in England in the 1960s, Tom Bedford is enamored with tv shows featuring Cowboys and Indians.  He feels the cowboys embody the integrity and bravery real men should exhibit.  Tom has a strained relationship with his older parents but is very close with his sister.  He ends up moving to the US as a boy but family troubles and struggles continue to make his life uncertain and there are secrets he doesn’t know or completely understand.  Fast forward to the present day, Tom is divorced and his relationship with his son is non-existent.  When a tragedy faces his son, Tom is forced to face the demons of his past he has tried to deal with and bury all on his own.

Throughout the novel I was cheering for Tom but I was also frustrated with him.  I was gasping out loud when certain revelations were made. I was driving and, without even realizing it, I was leaning forward and clenching the steering wheel.  The secrets in Tom’s childhood result in him keeping secrets in his adulthood and the vicious cycle of lies and secrets must be broken if there is to be healing and acceptance with his son. But readers don’t know if Tom is willing to surrender those lies and secrets and open up to those he loves.  And we don’t know whether the people in Tom’s life are going to be willing to offer forgiveness and love as a result of knowing the truth.

I really enjoyed listening to The Brave.  It has since been passed along to another PBS member and I hope it continues to make the rounds. To be honest, I think some of the reason I enjoyed the book is that like Tom, I enjoy westerns and the simpler times they represent.  If you like books with secrets, mysterious histories and love played out with complex characters, I think you should give The Brave a chance.



Fantasy Review – Blood from a Silver Cross

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015


Blood from a Silver Cross by E. S. Moore

Review by Kelsey O.


As per usual with E.S. Moore’s writing, we are thrown head long into Kat Redding’s life from the first page. Kat Redding, aka Lady Death, is still grappling with what she is and with the help of Ethan still looking for an alternative to drinking blood. Also on Kat’s plate is the fact that she has become the personal bitch for the Vampire Countess Baset all because Kat slayed her lover. The Countess sends her on missions that usually end up with someone being assassinated. The demon, Beligral, still has her in his clutches and now a new werewolf has moved in with the Luna Cult and has locked her sights on Jonathan. Before this Kat didn’t know what her feelings were for Jonathan but now she is finding she is a wee bit jealous but that will have to wait because she has to hunt down members of the Left Hand who are once again targeting the Luna Cult . Factor into all this Adrian, another Alpha werewolf who Kat is oathed to.

So as you can see there is a lot going on and lot of different plot lines to follow making for a very action packed read. Though I feel that all the plot lines tie beautifully together if you haven’t read any of this series you might be a bit lost on a few things. Great urban fantasy read and E.S. Moore leaves you anticipating what he will do to Kat next.




Winners!! Take Control of Your Anxiety – Book Give-Away!

Monday, March 16th, 2015

Our 3 winners of the copies of the brand-new book:

Take Control of Your Anxiety: A Drug-Free Approach to Living a Happy, Healthy Life

by Dr. Christopher Cortman, Dr. Harold Shinitzky, Dr. Laurie-Ann O’Connor

Provided by Dr. Harold Shinitzky are:


Tammy G


Kris K. (recyclingqueen)





Congratulations! Your books will soon be on the way!

Thank you again to Dr. Harold Shinitzky for providing these books and for your interview!



Author Interview and Book Give-Away with Dr. Harold Shinitzky

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015









Dr. Shinitzky is one of the very first authors to be interviewed on our PaperBackSwap Blog. He has a new book out and has agreed to another interview! Thank you Dr. Shinitzky, and welcome back!


Your new book, Take Control of Your Anxiety: A Drug Free Approach to Living a Happy, Healthy Life, published last month, addresses an issue many people seem to suffer with, anxiety. Why this topic? Are anxiety disorders on the rise today?

You ask a great question, why did we (Drs. Shinitzky, Cortman and O’Connor) choose to write this book covering specifically this one topic, anxiety?  If you think you are alone and the only one suffering from anxiety, it might be helpful to realize that anxiety has become the “Common Cold of Mental Health”.  18% of the adult US population satisfies the criteria for any one of the anxiety disorders.  That’s approximately 40 million people.  So, when someone says you are One-in-a-Million, you really are One-in-a-Group-of-40.  Anxiety disorders are more commonly discussed today than ever before.  The topic of anxiety has been on the front cover of major magazines, discussed on all television networks and due to the proliferation of social media anxiety has become a buzz word throughout society.  The reality is that anxiety does not appear to be on the rise but we as a society have become more aware and willing to discuss, assess and seek treatment for a condition that previously went untreated and oftentimes disabled individuals.  What is unique about our book, Take Control of Your Anxiety: A Drug-Free Approach to Living a Happy, Healthy Life we are not anti-medication, we have chosen to empower individuals by teaching a range of behavioral steps that they can use to help manage or resolve their stress or anxiety.


Is there a level of anxiety in everyone? Isnt some anxiety a normal reaction to everyday life?

When discussing the topic of anxiety it is vitally important to start by sharing the reality that everyone experiences “anxiety”.   In actuality, the more accurate term would be “arousal”.  As a species, we are built to handle arousal to our system.  You wake and realize that you have a classroom presentation to give in one week.  You question if you are prepared for a job interview.  You have a competitive sporting event this weekend.  You want to ask that person out.  Whenever you perceive some stressor you tend to react.  This natural reaction or arousal is actually healthy.  It alerts you.  It drives you to become active.  As a matter of fact there is a simple yet elegant equation that explains anxiety, Investment + Perceived Threat (real or imagined) = Anxiety.  If you don’t have a horse in this race, you won’t be too concern as to the outcome.  Likewise, if you don’t perceive a threat to this invested situation, you don’t experience any arousal.  There is a great way to describe the normal process of anxiety or arousal.  Imagine a capital letter “U”.  Now imagine the “U” upside-down.  shin

Several years ago, a concept was postulated by Yerkes-Dodson called the “Inverted-U” law.  As your system perceives stress or arousal or anxiety, you become alerted and your performance actually rises.  The left side of the inverted-U curve is healthy stress, also known as Eustress.  As you awaken your system to address your life circumstance you ascend to your optimal performance levels.  This is when you are attentive, applying yourself, committed, and as the athletes that I treat would say, they are in the “zone”.  The problem exists when someone becomes too aroused at which point the curve reflects the Law of Diminishing Returns.  The right side of the inverted-U curve is unhealthy, also known as Distress.  In Take Control of Your Anxiety: A Drug-Free Approach to Living a Happy, Healthy Life we start by helping individuals realize that we all experience anxiety, that it is normal and that if managed properly can be very helpful towards achieving your goals.


How can someone tell if anxiety is controlling their life?

We encourage people to look at their anxiety based on three factors, Frequency, Duration and Intensity.  As we mentioned earlier that anxiety is normal, we therefore have to consider these three factors as important towards discovering the extent and impact of anxiety in your life.  The three factors can be posed as questions that you ask yourself. First, How often (frequency) do I experience this emotion?  When I get anxious, how long does it last (duration)?  Finally, when it happens, how extreme (intensity) is my anxiety?  I had treated a young man who told me that he was a very health conscious individual which is why he chose to use the stairs rather than take the elevator.  The problem was that my office is on the 24th Floor.  By the time he got to my floor our scheduled appointment was over.  Clearly, his fear of the elevator cable snapping and plummeting to his untimely death led him to avoid the elevator and create a logical explanation.  Another gentleman that I treated would leave his house each morning, lock his front door, and walk to his car and then question if he had truly locked the front door.  His intrusive thoughts and fears that someone would now have free access to his home and belongings led him to return to the front door and relock it.  Again, upon entering his vehicle, he second guessed himself wondering if he had just unlocked a locked door, leaving all of his worldly possessions ripe for the picking.  This pattern would occur between 20 and 25 times each morning.  Can you imagine what the neighbors thought when they observed this repetitive behavior each and every morning.  If your anxiety is interfering in your school responsibilities, social/interpersonal life, or vocation you may need to work with a respected professional. 


Who should read this book?

Who is our book for? Humans.  What, you want more than that as my answer?  We have written this as a self-help book for the general public.  We hope that we have penned a book that is both educational and entertaining, or as we like to say, “Edutainment”. Our goal is for anyone struggling with an issue of anxiety or if you know someone that is adversely affected by anxiety to read, Take Control of Your Anxiety: A Drug-Free Approach to Living a Happy, Healthy Life and learn steps towards addressing and resolving the angst in their life.  We have divided the book into discussing the normalcy of anxiety, causes of anxiety, creative as well as comprehensive tools to address anxiety, and finally we covered the five most common anxiety disorders that we see in our clinical practices (e.g.; Phobias, Panic Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder). 


Chapter 3 begins: Bright lights, loud noises, the taste of rocky mountain oysters—there are but a few stimuli that are deemed to be universal stressor and consistently cause anxiety in humans. The rest are in your head. Is it all really just a matter of changing one’s view of things?

As Wayne Dwyer is oftentimes quoted, “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” Yes, it truly comes down to perception.  Remember the equation, Investment + Perceived Threat (real or imagined) = Anxiety.  I ask your readers to consider this concept.  What makes me nervous may not make you worry and what makes you anxious may not make me stressed.  Your feelings are statements of You.  Not everyone reacts the same way to a situation.  Some people love public speaking while others would rather have their non-dominant arm torn off.  Your feelings are statements about your Perception of Reality, not about reality.  A child who becomes fearful that someone is breaking into the house even though they know the branches from the tree rub against their window, still wants her mommy to stay with her until she falls asleep.  (I’m wondering why the parents just don’t cut the branches back).  Your emotions are reflecting upon your Investment.  Three people watched the Super Bowl together.  One jumped for joy as their team won.  The second person cried with their head and their hands in defeat.  The third person stared at the other two with a perplexed look wondering why two grown adults would be reacting so mightily to a game played by other people who could never hear their cheers as if their own lives depended on the outcome.  It is a pleasure to help individuals realize that if they develop healthier, more adaptive coping skills that challenge their previous methods they can overcome their greatest fears and worries.  The most common reaction that people display to an anxiety producing situation is avoidance. Once they avoid the stress inducing situation, their anxiety and worry decreases but only in the short-term.  Avoidance never provides long-term resolution.  A young lady that I treated was afraid of dogs.  All dogs, even a baby Cocker Spaniel. She would avoid the beast by darting across the street.  The short-lived relief by avoidance quickly vanished when out from a different store came a woman carrying a purse with a Tea Cup Chihuhua.  Again, the holy terror of this vicious creature would elicit fear and avoidance.  The only remaining option was to avoid the sidewalks and head to the middle of the street.  When working with individuals who possess anxiety it is important to empower the person by understanding that your emotions are statements of You, Your Perception of Reality and Reflect your Investment. 

After this awareness becomes solidified we then turn our focus on how this person is experiencing “anxiety”.  Anxiety can occur in one of three forms; Physiological, Thoughts and Feelings.  Some people only experience physical stress, tightness or changes in their heart rate and breathing.  Some individuals have intrusive thoughts and negative self-talk.  Lastly, other individuals might experience fears, worries and dread about the future events.  You might have one or a combination of the three.  Once we identify how someone is experiencing anxiety, an appropriate treatment plan can be created to address any of these three forms of distress.

This is your second book coauthored with Dr. Chris Cortman. What is next for you? Will you collaborate on another book together?

This has been a magnificent experience collaborating with Dr. Cortman again.  In our current Anxiety book we also co-authored with Dr. Laurie-Ann O’Connor who offered exceptional insights into the realm of Mindfulness, Yoga and other forms of helpful coping skills for anxiety.  Dr. Cortman and I have now converted our first book, Your Mind: An Owner’s Manual for a Better Life (Career Press, 2009) into an evidence-based youth prevention curriculum titled, The Social Black Belt (SBB).  We wanted to share the 10 Truths from our first book to a young audience.  We have now conducted two separate research studies to assess the impact of the SBB on the students’ Knowledge, Attitude and Behavior.  Just like in the martial arts, when you attained your highest level of skill, you receive a black belt.  When you possess a black belt you don’t go looking for trouble but when trouble presents itself, you can handle the situation.  Through the Social Black Belt, we proactively provide a range of skills through this onsite, interactive, fun-filled prevention program to today’s students.  Once they have attained their Social Black Belt, they don’t go looking for trouble but when trouble presents itself they can handle the situation.  Students are more self-confident, possess greater assertiveness, set healthy personal boundaries and are able to set long-term and short-term goals.  The SBB helps address bullying behaviors and fosters the development of pro-social behaviors.  The SBB is now being replicated across the country.  For more information on the Social Black Belt go to www.thesocialblackbelt.com
Who is your favorite author? What book was your favorite when you were a child?

My favorite book when I was a child was, Harold and the Purple Crayon.  Guess what? My favorite color is purple and I still like to draw images and then entering into them for an exciting adventure.



Do you read self-help books?

Yes, I like reading self-help books.  I believe that we all have room for improvement.  A recent book that I read was, How to Practice: The Way to a Meaningful Life by the Dalai Lama.


Was there someone who influenced you when you were young to pursue psychology as a career?

When I was 15 years old a family member commented about my interpersonal style and how people turned to me with questions that I helped them to discover their answers.  They informed me that there was a profession called, Psychology.  I was introduced to 5 different Psychologists with different sub-specialties which I found extremely interesting.  So, I declared my major at 15 years old.  My high school Psychology teacher, Mr. Albiani was an incredible individual and mentor for better understanding the field of Psychology.

If you weren’t a psychologist, what would you be?

An artist or a tennis player.

Golf or hockey?


Skittles or M&Ms?

M&Ms.  The more chocolate the better.

Beach or mountains?


Lady Gaga or Tony Bennett?

I’d pay to see Lady Bennett or Tony Gaga.  I could see both.


To read more about Dr. Shinitzky you can visit his website: www.drshinitzky.com.

To read the first Author Interview Dr. Shinitzky did with us for the PaperBackSwap Blog click here:

Dr. Harold Shinitzky of Your Mind: An Owner’s Manual for a Better Life


Dr. Shinitzky has generously offered 3 brand new copies of his book, Take Control of Your Anxiety: A Drug-Free Approach to Living a Happy, Healthy Life,

to 3 PaperBackSwap members who comment on this blog. The Winners will be chosen at random from the entries we receive.






Mystery Monday – A Sad Song Singing

Monday, March 9th, 2015

A Sad Song Singing

A Sad Song Singing by Thomas B. Dewey


Review by Matt B. (BuffaloSavage)

Among such knowledgeable readers as the people who read this blog, confusion will inevitably arise due to the similarity of the names Thomas B. Dewey and Thomas E. Dewey. Thomas B. wrote mysteries starring the one-named PI Mac. Pictured left, Thomas E. was a New York Republican about whose facial hair Herbert Hoover observed, “”A man couldn’t wear a mustache like that without having it affect his mind.”

Thomas B. Dewey wrote about 16 Mac novels from 1947 to 1970. A Sad Song Singing was written in 1963, about half-way through the life of the series. Mac’s stomping ground is Chicago. One theme in Dewey’s books is lost youth, so in this one features a seventeen-year-old girl who has been driven out of her country town by gossip to the big bad city. Her guitar-strumming folk song-singing boyfriend has left her with a locked suitcase, telling her not to open it and that he’ll be back for it. But three thugs are after the suitcase and will stop at nothing to get it. The girl hires Mac with money she made waitressing in a coffee house. As in the music-related mystery Blues for the Prince by Bart Spicer, this novel has cool period details about the folk music, beatnik, and hootenanny scene of the late Fifties.

There are also hints of the generation gap that was to receive so much attention in the middle Sixties. Mac is in his mid-thirties. As quiet, sensitive, and compassionate as Ross Macdonald’s Lew Archer, Mac thinks, “I had no way to read what was in her mind.” This is a common enough response to teenager females but especially ones who learned at home from an early age never ever to disclose anything that was going on in their heads.

I thought the prose was subdued, if well-crafted and eminently readable. The thugs lack names, which implies that they are relentless forces that we can’t help fearing. From Elkhart, Indiana and having lived all over the Midwest, Dewey effectively evokes the country towns outside Chicago and Gary. This novel was good enough to put me on the look-out for others in the Mac series or his other PI hero, Pete Schofield who solved cases with his red-headed bombshell of a wife Jeannie (which I pronounce “genie”).


In 1001 Midnights: The Aficionado’s Guide to Mystery and Detective Fiction, critic and mystery writer Bill Pronzini hailed A Sad Song Singing as “one of the ten best private-eye novels ever written” and praised the book for its “emotional depth and impact.” In 2007 Pronzini told an interviewer, “My favorite character is Thomas B. Dewey’s private detective Mac, who is hard when he should be but still human and sometimes vulnerable. I tried to create the same kind of mixture with Nameless.”





Free Book Friday Winner!

Monday, March 9th, 2015

FBF banner 2015 spring winner


The Winner of this week’s Free Book Friday Prize,


The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman is:


  Dawn W. (dawn11)



Congratulations, your book will be on its way to you soon!




Thank you to everyone who commented on the Blog!

Free Book Friday!

Friday, March 6th, 2015

FBF banner 2015 spring

Today’s Free Book Friday prize is:



The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman

After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day’s journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season and shore leaves are granted every other year at best, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby’s cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby.

Tom, whose records as a lighthouse keeper are meticulous and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel has taken the tiny baby to her breast. Against Tom’s judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy. When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world. Their choice has devastated one of them.

ISBN 9781451681758, Trade Size Paperback


There are currently 4 members wishing for this book. 1 lucky member will win a brand-new copy.


To enter, simply leave a comment on this Blog post. You must be a PaperBackSwap member to win.

We will choose 1 winner at random from comments we receive here on the Blog from PBS members.


You have until Sunday, March 8, 2015 at 12 noon EDT, to leave a comment.


Good Luck to everyone!

Note: All the books given away on Free Book Friday are available in the PBS Market. We have thousands of new and new overstock titles available right now, with more added hourly. Some of the prices are amazing – and you can use a PBS credit to make the deal even better!