FULL TITLE: The Baseball Cortex
AUTHOR: Craig Ohlau
PUBLISHER: Craig Ohlau
The Baseball Cortex is an 80-page well-organized and easy-to-read booklet created by award-winning author and baseball coach Craig Ohlau. Craig has taken lessons learned from his own experiences playing and coaching and spun notes and excerpts from the books The Mental Game of Baseball and Heads-Up Baseball to create his informative booklet.
The booklet's main focus is to provide valuable guidance in optimizing a player's mental game and performance. The booklet has many intriguing chapters focusing on establishing goals, setting expectations, taking responsibility, preparation, visualization and attitude. The chapters provide the reader with outstanding mental exercises and tips to maximize performance.
An insightful look into the mind of an athlete, The Baseball Cortex will change the way you play, coach, and watch the game of baseball.
Craig Ohlau is the 7-time national award-winning author of the American Writing Awards "Book of the Year" The Sons of Chester: A Tale of Small Town Boys, Baseball, and Very Big Dreams. He dedicated 18 years to the Mon-Clair Baseball League as a player between 2001-2018--the league immortalized in his second book--Kings of the County League: One Summer, One Team, One Dynasty--2021 Maxy Awards Finalist for "Non-Fiction Book of the Year," 2021 PenCraft Awards Winner in Non-Fiction, and 2021 American Writing Awards Winner in "Best New Non-Fiction." Both of Craig's books have been accepted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame Library and Museum in Cooperstown, New York. Craig was inducted into The National Semi-Pro Baseball Hall of Fame in 2019 and the County League Hall of Fame in 2021.
FULL BOOK TITLE: A Finger of Land on an Old Man’s Hand – Adventures in Mexico’s Baja Wilderness
AUTHOR NAME: Earl Vincent de Berg
PUBLISHER NAME: iUniverse
In 1962, Earl Vincent De Berge and three companions, spurred by literary works from the year prior, set out on an epic adventure through Mexico's Baja Peninsula. A Finger of Land on an Old Man's Hand vividly documents this pilgrimage, the state's culture and history, and the unique relationship of the adventurers.
De Berge beautifully paints a picture of the rugged landscape of the Baja while also incorporating an introspective into the culture and political divisions within. Helping to illuminate the reader's perspective, the author has also included photographed moments, sights, and locales - incorporating these is immensely helpful, reinforcing De Berge's perspective.
At over four hundred pages, A Finger of Land on an Old Man's Hand is quite detailed, and if the reader is looking for a broad-brush painted view of this unique peninsula, this work certainly is not that. However, the lengthy narrative allows for the journey, the interplay, and the sheer volume of experiences to play out.
A poignant aspect of the book is how well De Berge captures the culture and political spectrums of the Baja. Readers are made aware of this early, including an encounter where one of the reader's companions attempts to bring hunting firearms across the border. This confrontation reinforces how wild and open the Mexican state was.
A most impressive piece of De Berge's work is his mastery of the tiniest details. For example, when Dr. Berge visits a nature preserve called Scammon's Lagoon, his exquisite description of the locale helps the reader envision its beauty and isolation.
Ultimately, A Finger of Land on an Old Man's Hand is well-written and organized. I recommend this book to the reader looking to immerse themselves in an adventure from a different time, where the relationships between friends still getting to know each other are interwoven—part historical guide, part personal narrative, and part magnifying glass into the sometimes-torrential relationship of friends/voyagers. This book covers a lot of ground, literally and figuratively.
Arizona native, Earl de Berge is a writer, photographer, and poet. His education includes Antioch College (BA) and U of Arizona (MA). A political scientist, he founded Behavior Research Center. created the respected Rocky Mountain Poll and was Editor for 35 years.
Writing poetry since 1959, he often focuses on his fascination with Sonoran Deserts.and his experiences in Guatemala’s post-civil war years. He draws inspiration from the environment, poverty, shadows, friendship, loneliness, hope, aging, coyotes, hawks, brigands, fools, danger and death. And of course, politics. Earl’s photographs, logbooks and essays reflecting on life experiences serve as foundations for his prose and poetry.
Earl has recently published three collections of his poems, “Alegro to Life,” “Swans to Carry Me,” and “Wind in the Elephant Tree,” which touch on nature, human nature, love, desert silence, and life in Guatemala. He is currently assembling “The Man Who Ate His Dreams,” a biography of a rags-to-riches businessman, artist, and poet; and a collection of short desert stories for young readers/.
Earl and his wife Suzanne split their time between Arizona and Guatemala where they founded the nonprofit Seeds for a Future to help impoverished rural women improve their families’ access to adequate food and nutrition with home gardens and small animal protein sources.
Book Title: Beach of the Dead
Author: Cynthia J. Bogard
Publisher: Atmosphere Press
Beach of the Dead is a layered multicultural story of one woman’s fateful journey of escaping to and reinventing herself in a fitting paradise.
After stabbing and killing her lover/graduate school advisor in the back with scissors, Jane, or should I say Ana—she changed her name after the murder—flees to Mexico. Alex (Alejandro), a gay Mexican man whom she meets on the bus ride south, accompanies and assists her on the adventurous border-crossing journey from Pine Hill Station, Texas, to El Paso, to Juarez, Mexico, Mexico City, Oaxaca, Puerto Angel, and Zipolite—the Beach of the Dead. It is in this paradisiacal setting where ninety-five percent of the story happens. Supporting characters are introduced, the plot evolves, and questions get answered.
Will the Federales figure out the truth about Ana? Will she out herself to the tourists and locals? Will Ana find love? Who will Ana be at the end of this intriguing tale? Will she survive her fugitive paradise?
In Beach of the Dead, Bogard writes with abundant detail sensationalizing simple moments that transport the reader into the life of the characters. Ana’s train trip through Mexico City—I thought about my lungs, the polluted, thin air, the potential backpack thieves Alex had warned me about — anything to keep me from thinking about his unexpected proposal. He returned with two open bottles of guava-flavored soda. “Here, my sick friend, drink. Drink, and then we will find the train to Oaxaca.” Guava soda was wondrous, unlike any flavor I had tasted before. It helped to focus on what my mouth was experiencing. And not to not think. I finished my bottle, and Alex placed it in the crates for empties that littered the station.
Bogard’s environmentalist heart, her worldviews on acceptance, sexuality, and tolerance, her love for humanity, and her mortal conscience are subtly highlighted throughout the novel’s pages. As she writes in these few examples, a paragraph of Ana describing the paradise of Zipolite and a kiss she experiences with Thorpe, a beautiful female botanist.
So, the pattern of daily life in Zipolite was revealed to me, with its pleasant rhythms of sun and water, eating and sleeping. So much natural beauty and mellow, gentle people. I could feast on these calming rituals, the healing effects of this magical place. There was one dark element of Zipolite, however — one I could not control and one that might ruin this for me and for others, too. That dark element was me.
It had shocked me, this surprise answer to an innocent question about her poker-playing acumen. Not just the kiss itself, though it had been entirely unexpected. It was my body’s response that had stunned, scared…intrigued me. My heart clenched; my core felt a frisson of…something. So, Jane wasn’t dead inside? Hadn’t been emotionally snuffed out by the only two people to have ever touched her intimately? Or was this Ana, awakening to her new life after her near death like a prince kissed Sleeping Beauty?
Bogard has created a transformative story of murder and intrigue, paradise found and paradise lost, and a woman trying to find the truth within herself. Beach of the Dead entertains with its descriptive writing and interesting characters. It is aimed directly at the female audience as Ana, the female star, dominates the novel’s pages. The unique storyline captures and holds the reader’s attention from the opening murder to the climactic finish.
After a successful career as a Professor of Sociology and Women’s Studies at Hofstra University in New York, Cynthia J. Bogard has reinvented herself as a novelist. Born and raised in rural Wisconsin, she’s lived in Kuwait, Greece, Mexico, New York and in Madison, Wisconsin and Texas. World traveler, longtime feminist and environmentalist, Greece, mid-20th century jazz, and Mother Nature are all close to her heart. These days, Cynthia lives with her spouse and two rescue dogs in Montpelier, Vermont.
FULL BOOK TITLE: The Stress Book: Forty-Plus Ways to Manage Stress & Enjoy Your Life
AUTHOR NAME: D. Terrence Foster, MD
PUBLISHER NAME: Global Health & Consortium
DR. D. Terrence Foster, MD: Author, Director of Pain and Rehabilitation Medicine, Stress Management Consultant, Public Speaker, and Philanthropist, used his 25 years of experiences in practicing medicine and the stresses and anxiety fashioned by the COVID pandemic to inspire the purpose of his multifaceted multiple-award-winning book on stress management, The Stress Book: Forty-Plus Ways to Manage Stress & Enjoy Your Life.
His book is well-organized and interactive. It contains four main sections—the basics of stress and its management, the physical and mental actions, and the community actions readers can apply to reduce stress levels. Throughout, bullet points, models, and illustrations are used, making it easier for the reader to evaluate the information and assess even their own level of stress. Starting early and continuing throughout, Foster provides step-by-step advice on dealing with wide-ranging stress-related issues like money and travel, physical health, work, personal appearance, environmental factors, and worldly problems. He tackles these issues with a masterstroke of simplicity and compassion.
Foster’s simplistic and sympathetic style will allure the masses. Everyone experiences levels of stress, and everyone appreciates a little compassion. Foster’s level of human understanding and writing talent allow him to firmly present his advice on sensitive matters while never creating discomfort or turning off the reader.
Thank you, Dr. Foster, for creating this holistic manual for reducing stress. The wisdom within these pages will assist readers in living a more fulfilling life.
DR. D. TERRENCE FOSTER, MD: AUTHOR, PAIN & REHABILITATION MEDICINE, STRESS MANAGEMENT CONSULTANT, PUBLIC SPEAKER & PHILANTHROPIST
Dr. D. Terrence Foster, MD a best-selling multiple award-winning author, and a double board-certified medical doctor. He is also a Public Speaker, Stress, Pain, & Rehabilitation Medicine Management Consultant, and a philanthropist.
He is the author or co-author of several scientific articles. His publications include three best-selling books: The Foster's Opioid Addiction Classification Status Guide, The Opioid Epidemic Consumers & HealthCare Guide, and his latest, The Stress Book: Forty-Plus Ways to Manage Stress & Enjoy Your Life. This book is a winner of more than forty (40+) literary awards, including The Independent Author Network (IAN) 2022 First-Place Nonfiction Book of The Year.
Dr. Foster graduated from The Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, New York, earning his Doctor of Medicine. He completed his Residency at New York University Medical Center/Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine and Fellowship at Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. He has been practicing medicine for more than 25 years.
Dr. Foster's community service, leadership, and philanthropic work extend over 20 years. He is a strong supporter of many charitable organizations.
He is the Chairman and CEO of the D. Terrence Foster Foundation Inc. This organization celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2022. The Vision of the Foundation is to help provide or facilitate healthcare and education for those underserved globally. It focuses on developing, enhancing, and promoting healthcare and education globally, emphasizing our society's under-served and less privileged.
Visit his website at www.DTERRENCEFOSTER.COM, connect with his social media platforms, and see all the other projects he is working on.
Book Title: TechRevolution Magnified: Thrive With Consciousness
Author: Anurag Bansal
Publisher: Anurag Bansal
Author Anurag Bansal has created a thorough and engaging examination into the uncharted technological revolution currently happening in the world today.
Lovers and skeptics of tech will appreciate the passion Bansal puts into his work. He describes it as “a rallying cry for all of us to participate in the responsible use, development, and control of technology.” Bansal doesn’t want his readers to solely look at the importance of technology as the greatest deciding force in human progress but to consider its ramifications as well.
Bansal’s writing aims to educate through a direct textbook-like style that is to the point. He covers the entire technological gamut ranging from a brief overview of the history of technology evolution to the impacts of evolving technologies on socio-economic development and geopolitics, the post-covid acceleration, robotics, artificial intelligence, DNA sequencing and gene editing, blockchains, clean energy, supercomputers, business, and the human technological future. My favorite was the section in the chapter of Gene Editing dealing with Agriculture and Environmental Management. In this chapter, Bansal highlights the benefits of technology in crop importance, livestock breeding, disease resistance, bioremediation tactics, invasive species control, and conservation and biodiversity.
Bansal concludes his 245-page research-based text with 24 pages of reference. These pages provide information to the reader who may want to access or know the sources cited in the book.
TechRevolution Magnified: Thrive With Consciousness is an informative, cautiously optimistic look at how technology has shaped the world and how further evolution will continue to unleash the world’s innovative capabilities.
Anurag studies exponential technologies, their convergence to challenge corporate paradigms, and their relevance to current geopolitics. Anurag has been a disruption analyst for over 15 years and is enthusiastic about researching how technologies such as AI, bioinformatics, quantum computing, next-generation connectivity, and renewable energy combine to accelerate innovation and create new businesses.
Anurag feels that seeing and understanding a disruptive breakthrough early will put you on the right side of the transformation, bring positive societal change, and create wealth.
Anurag is forward-thinking and never content. He believes technology, if used consciously, can help individuals realize their potential and achieve their goals. “What counts is how fast you accomplish what your soul mandates,” says Rumi.
Anurag believes in unlimited potential and the need to become more of what we are, push our limits, and become truly unstoppable. Anurag’s expertise as a disruption analyst and thought leader puts us at the intersection of the hardware (disruptive innovation) and the software (creative imagination, positive mindset, and organized action).
FULL BOOK TITLE: The Jediran Quest
AUTHOR NAME: Cal Davis
PUBLISHER NAME: Cal Davis
The Jediran Quest is a young-adult sci-fi adventure filled with adolescent curiosity, youthful personality, and a playful quest for survival.
The Jediran Quest begins with the introduction of Braven, a shy, rule-following, passive Level 6 student (assuming this is 6th grade) in school living in the Delta Colony. Author Cal Davis makes known the diversity of Braven’s class, including the teacher, Professor Sheer, when she announces, they will go to the “Towers,” the unpredictable flora filled landscape destination for their “discovery” trip. The class was frozen in time as the light-skinned woman began to form the words on her lips. Most of the class had to wait for the translator, but the few Blaukens in the class were visually shocked… Most of Braven’s classmates were born on other planets or moons. A few students came from Alpha Colony which was approximately five hundred kilometers to the west. Two students, whose beautiful, mauve-colored skin and lack of humanoid noses always drew his curiosity, were from the planet Bliteque.
Also introduced in the opening “Sections,” among the rest of Braven’s 16 diverse classmates, are two outgoing adventurous alpha boys, identical twins and sons of the colony director, Dirk and Kirk Brusque, dark haired, dark eyed and filled with personality, Khara Lucent, and Whisper Chaste, soft, and sweet and the “most feminine of all girls.”
While on the discovery trip, the adventure begins for the teens. A violent and sudden storm erupts, separating the group of 16 students and teachers. Personalities clash, leaders emerge, and characters come of age as the young students brave the unpredictable conditions presented in the “Towers” on their quest to unite the group and find their way home.
Readers of all ages will enjoy the action-filled narrative and relatable cast of characters. Themes and lessons on patience, understanding, and friendship mix with moments of scientific curiosity and problem solving that create a fun and engaging read for youngsters and adults alike.
Cal Davis has been married to Stephanie since 1991. They have two amazing children (with a benefit daughter), and four incredible grandchildren. Cal loves writing, teaching, traveling, and being a Papa. He is a native Texan, a US veteran, has a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, and believes "Reading should be fun!"
FULL BOOK TITLE: Valiance
AUTHOR NAME: Vanessa Caraveo
PUBLISHER NAME: Vanessa Caraveo
Valiance, by Vanessa Caraveo, is familiar to our AWA team. It was awarded Shortlist honors in the 2022 Hawthorne Prize competition, in addition to it earning American Writing Award Winner medals in Young Adult and Inspirational Fiction in 2021. Author Vanessa Caraveo showcases her heart and literary skill in the moving and inspirational tale of Diego Herrera, a born deaf and mute teenage soccer star.
Born the middle child in a family of undocumented immigrants, Diego faces a mountain of adversity growing up. He attacks every personal challenge with an undeterred positive attitude. An absent father, familial drug use, dealing with bullies, doing well in school, poverty, and heartbreak—on top of his disability—are just a few of these obstacles.
Throughout the story, Diego possesses an exemplary outlook concerning his plight and an all-forgiving attitude toward his naysayers. A little farfetched to some readers, this may seem when it comes to the behavior of a pubescent teenage boy. However, it fits perfectly with Diego’s honorable character. Diego is the star of this book, not his disability. This lesson is paramount to the book’s major theme—People are defined by their actions, not by the outward perceptions of others.
The style of writing Caraveo exhibits in her award-winning novel is highly engaging. The fictional story is told from the first-person perspective and reads like an autobiography. This proves effective when the plot centers around one fantastic character.
Valiance is a young-adult coming-of-age story reinforcing the adage that anything is possible through hard work and the right mental attitude. It reminds us that nice guys can finish first!
Vanessa Caraveo is an award-winning bilingual author, published poet, and artist who has a passion for promoting inclusion, empowerment and equality for all, helping others discover the power they possess within themselves to overcome adversity and persevere in life. She is involved with various organizations that assist children and adults with disabilities and enjoys working with non-profit groups and volunteering in the promotion of literacy. Vanessa aspires to continue making a positive difference in many lives through her service to others and literary work.
FULL BOOK TITLE: Borgia Rose: The Poisoning of Richland County
AUTHOR NAME: KD Allbaugh
PUBLISHER NAME: Battle Ridge Rising Sun Press
For 15th century historians, the name Borgia may be synonymous with poisonings. Lucrezia Borgia, an Italian noblewoman and daughter of Pope Alexander VI, was infamously rumored to be involved in numerous poisonings and murders of rival parties throughout her life. This fictional story, Borgia Rose, is inspired by the real-life events of another poisonous protagonist, Rose Zoldoske. As written by Allbaugh, This young woman was either a scapegoat mistreated by the popular opinion of a small-town hierarchy or she was, in fact, a cold-blooded murderer.
Zoldoske, born the 3rd of nine children in Ithaca, a tiny village in the rolling hills of Richland County, Wisconsin, a few miles from the county seat of Richland Center to poor Polish immigrants in the middle of the 17th century, was determined to leave behind the impediments of her family’s poverty and build a better life for herself. Allbaugh endears the reader to the main character Rose. Described as a pretty, hard-working, ambitious, and caring person, she endures many hardships throughout the narrative. Rose’s sympathetic plight develops and supports the idea that despite public opinion and historical facts that may tell otherwise, no way she was the cold-blooded killer many believe she was.
Allbaugh utilizes relevant dialogue between the intriguing cast of characters to compliment the engaging narrative creating a seamless arc that flows like the wavy dark locks of one mysterious Rose.
You will be taken back in time and dared to solve the mystery! KD Allbaugh has penned a doozy, captivating the reader with her whodunnit novel that reads like true crime. What is real and what is not? Did she do it? Or didn’t she? Borgia Rose: The Poisoning of Richland County is a time-encapsulating journey that hooks you and never lets go.
K.D. Allbaugh is a retired educator who lives with her husband, John, and their dog, Max in the beautiful rolling hills of South-western Wisconsin. She is a member of the Wisconsin Writers Association with a passion for historical fiction mixed with true crime. She enjoys her family, her flower/fairy gardens, researching her ancestry, and traveling the backroads of Wisconsin. Borgia Rose is her debut novel.
FULL BOOK TITLE: The Old Man and Me
AUTHOR NAME: RC Larlham
PUBLISHER NAME: Black Rose Writing
Take a trip back in time with RC Larlham in his debut memoir, The Old Man and Me. Nostalgia combines with Larlham’s homespun 1st-person voice creating a collection of short stories detailing memorable moments between a father and a son encompassing the years following World War II.
As I read Larlham’s telling of his happy life as the son of a loving father, who was a welder, and a mother, who was a nurse, I cannot help but be inspired. The charming nature of his writing fosters a belief that I should chronicle my life memories in such a way. Although subtle differences exist, I get the feeling of reliving my “Baby Boomer” childhood through Larlham’s reminiscence—a fulfilling experience.
Larlham includes in his labor of love many tales of yesteryear—the unique story of his birth, “Nina” and the tornado, washtub swimming, Uncle Ike’s dandelion wine (my personal favorite), farm and barn stories, fields of wild asparagus, a blind pony, vacations, “The Beast in the basement,” basic training, and much more. He fashions his stories through memory with exquisite detail. Detail driven through love.
The old pictures supplementing several of the stories are an added bonus.
The Old Man and Me speaks directly to an entire generation. The sons and daughters of what some call “The Greatest Generation.” A period in American history when hard work, family, and faith anchored the familial dynamic. Larlham has created a fine legacy piece for generations hereafter.
The Old Man and Me, a fun read, especially for the older audience nostalgic for the good old days.
I am R C “Chuck” Larlham. I attended the same small country school district for my entire childhood, graduating in a senior class of seventy-six. I was accepted at prestigious Hiram College, but found myself in academic difficulty after two years. Thus began a trek through a life of changes that constantly amazed, perplexed and educated me. With my brother, I joined the US Army for three years, spending one of those in South Korea and most of the other two in San Antonio, Texas. I reentered Hiram College, met the prettiest girl on campus (the Luvly Laura), became her Educated Hick and married her. We moved to Utah where I earned my Master’s in Environmental Science at Utah State University.
After a year at the Seiberling Tire Company, I became an urban environmental planner, and some years later a private consultant. When hazardous waste issues began heating up, I specialized in the regulations covering them, bringing clients with such problems to the consulting firm. For the past twenty years I have worked as an Environmental Engineer for a major Midwest Public Utility. Now a widower, and after some reflection, I have decided it is time to put my stories of growing up into a book to be a legacy for the children of my generation.
Many of my readers may have heard of The Hattie Larlham Foundation. Hattie Larlham was my mother. She was a nurse and a woman of great compassion. From that and the Old Man’s credo grew the Foundation, which was started in our old farmhouse. They always told people it was my fault, because Mother was a nurse at a local hospital, and one night she was ranting about a neighbor who had to take home a child she couldn't care for. Finally she said, "Somebody ought to DO something!"
I was trying to study and her rant wasn’t helping. I looked up and said, "Well, aren't WE somebody?"
Turned out... we were.
FULL BOOK TITLE: The Last Hippy Poet of the Woodstock Generation
AUTHOR NAME: C. Steven Blue
PUBLISHER NAME: Sunset West Publishing Group
The Last Hippy Poet of the Woodstock Generation is the “magnum opus” of one C. Steven Blue. It is the fascinating culmination of his over 50 years’ experience as a poet, artist, and musician. Art, poetry, and great writing merge in this cross-genre masterpiece!
The book is a triad consisting of over 600 pages of three interrelated parts. Part 1: Heartbreak Kid is the memoir of Blue’s teens and twenties growing up in Hollywood during the 1960s and 1970s. "How did I ever survive to get clean and sober in my 30s?" He asks his readers on the opening page, foreshadowing an extraordinary journey.
Blue leaves nothing to the imagination in this all-encompassing memoir covering his first thirty years. The intricate prose is impressive. From his happy and mischievous childhood, to his “fall from innocence,” becoming one of the original hippies on the Sunset Strip, to his countless loves and heartbreaks, Blue entertains through his wide range of experiences. He is a most interesting man.
Blue is an artist through and through. He strategically includes examples of his own created works of art throughout the pages. These one-of-a-kind pieces speak directly to the talent and character of the author while supplementing the story’s narrative in a way that engages the reader and helps to form a greater appreciation. The pictures included at the conclusion are a nice touch as well. They provide a real-life visual evolution of the man behind the expansive creation.
The final parts of the book are Part 2: Bat’s Ass Blues—a section of narrative verse on Blue’s nature of perception, fantasy and dreams, political, social and spiritual commentary—and Part 3: Butterflies On Lavender—a narrative verse on the nature of love perceived by Blue. Both parts, were selected from over a lifetime of poetic inspiration. It is astounding the passion displayed in both compilations. My favorite verse,
as the aging Blue wrote…
to share a little bit
of what used to be
to share a little vision
of what he still could see
he would often recite his poems
to the tribe gathered there
poems about love
and of being aware
The Last Hippy Poet of the Woodstock Generation is a major work focused not solely on the life of a hippy but on a much broader horizon. It should be applauded in many ways.
C. Steven Blue wears many hats: Poet, author, artist, musician, micro-press publisher, videographer, and producer/host of literary & arts creator events. He has published twelve books: nine of his own work, two anthologies of Northwest poets, and the work of remarkable spontaneous poet, Karen A. Dalyea. For the last four decades, Steven has produced and hosted creator events in both California and Oregon, giving countless opportunities to other creatives along the way. His most recent event series prior to the pandemic was Burnin' Down The Barnes, a monthly literary reading series and poetry open mic at the Eugene, Oregon, Barnes & Noble Bookstore, which ran for four years and was one of the most popular reading series in the Pacific Northwest.
In early education, Steven excelled in music, art, and literature, winning his first poetry award at age twelve. But he dropped out of high school at the age of 18 to begin raising the first of three children. Long working hours and raising a family prevented Steven from earning a college degree, but he is a self-taught street kid who has always hungered for knowledge. Over the years he has taught himself to be a recording engineer, desktop publisher, and videographer, as well as continuing his writing, art, and music whenever possible.
Now an award-winning West Coast poet, C. Steven Blue stands outside the normal conventions of modern poetry. He is a lyrical/performance poet, reading and performing his poetry from a unique rhythmic perspective: at the crossroads of poetry and music.
As an author, Steven writes from his own life experiences of loss, betrayal, addiction, recovery, joy, and love. From his years of struggling to recover from abuse, alcoholism, drug addiction, and mental breakdown, Stevenâ€™s perspective is a refreshing and inspiring journey, one of survival and overcoming adversity, discovering a renewed faith and hope in life, and a spiritual awakening that has given him the ability to live in the here and now.
Steven is retired from a 27-year career in stage production in Hollywood, CA. He currently lives in Eugene, Oregon with his wife Paulette, where he continues to pursue his artistic endeavors.
FULL BOOK TITLE: Worst Knights Ever
AUTHOR NAME: Dane Hanson
PUBLISHER NAME: PsychoToxin Press
Dane Hanson, drawing inspiration from his writer brother using the pen name E.C. Hanson, has transformed a mere 3-page movie treatment into an epic nearly 300-page novel. The result is a riotous, satire-driven spectacle featuring a Queen, Hollywood stars, and a formidable dragon.
Set in late 2001 in London, chaos ensues as a fearsome dragon runs amok, devouring everything in its path. The dragon's first unfortunate encounter is with Rowan Atkinson, famously known as "Mr. Bean." As Hanson humorously describes it, the dragon's sniffing leads it perilously close to Atkinson's nether regions. Atkinson's plaid Burberry slacks bear the consequences, but his embarrassing mishap might have just saved his life.
Amid the chaos, A fictional Queen Elizabeth II faces an unprecedented dilemma. Unwilling to seek help from her allies, she resorts to an unconventional tactic, brandishing a butter knife at her Prime Minister's throat. With the Prime Minister at a loss for a solution, the Queen takes charge. Her decision? To summon her knights to save England from the menacing dragon. However, there's a twist—these knights are none other than British celebrities, including Sean Connery, Anthony Hopkins, Michael Caine, Elton John, and even Steven Spielberg.
Worst Knights Ever is divided into 91 short chapters spanning 285 pages. While some readers may find this chapter count daunting, it enhances engagement and maintains a lively narrative pace. The short chapters allow the eccentric cast of characters and their witty banter to shine. Hanson fearlessly employs comical innuendo and sharp humor through his famous characters, creating a story that reads like a movie script and exudes the essence of British comedy.
This satirical edge is where Hanson truly excels, providing a dreamlike experience for readers. It's a book that both large and small audiences can appreciate—though some may be offended, it's precisely this audacious humor that makes Worst Knights Ever an enjoyable and memorable read. Hanson's narrative is a comedic adventure that leaves readers hoping there are more dragons to be vanquished by the worst knights ever.
Dane Hanson is an award-winning filmmaker, television producer, comedy writer, and author. Dane got his start in Hollywood acting in more than 60 national commercials. He is internet-famous for "Lie Detector," a video that is still constantly going viral all over the internet. It has over 100 million views combined and has been translated into 16 languages. For 11 years, Dane ran the critically-acclaimed sketch comedy show Sitcoms Blow. Working as head writer and director for 65 actors at its peak and performing more than 1500 live shows that's where Dane developed his comedic writing and directing tools. "Lie Detector" was first performed live at Sitcoms Blow. In 2007, at the height of his commercial acting success, repeatedly starring as the dumb guy in beer commercials, Dane was diagnosed with Thyroid cancer. Dane beat cancer and eventually recovered, but it took years. With his acting career derailed, Dane pivoted to writing and producing TV. Dane produced a bunch of shows for Fox. He gave Taylor Tomlinson her TV debut on Laughs. She obviously would've landed on TV without his help, though. He was also head writer and Co-EP of Punchline, which was renewed for a second season. Dane was Supervising Producer for Top 30, which got picked up for three years. Dane is also a frequent collaborator with comedian Steve Hofstetter. Dane also wrote, directed, and starred in The Female Orgasm Law, another original Sitcoms Blow sketch, which won the Audience Award for Best Comedy Short at the prestigious 2012 Friars Club Comedy Festival. In 2021, Dane was named a finalist at UCLA for best spec script for his filthy episode of What We Do in the Shadows.