I’m pleased to announce another children’s book author, Laura McJannet-Brogan! I’ve known Laura for many years–we worked together in educational publishing and became fast friends–but I didn’t know until recently that she’s a writer. Laura has used her experiences with her own children as her inspiration for her first book, When Maddie Feels Jealous!
There’s so much more information and attention given to managing emotions now than when I was growing up. I often feel inadequately prepared to help my children with their emotions when I’m still learning about my own. Laura has created a book that helps children identify their feelings and understand them. Maddie describes what the emotion feels like in her body, and then she models for readers how to effectively use positive emotions to overcome negative ones.
I know I would have felt more comfortable talking to my parents about my emotions if I had this book as a child, and I hope my children feel the same. Congratulations, Laura!
And a big thank you to Cory Cole for the beautiful illustrations for this project, her third children’s book!
About the Book
Whenever Maddie sees other kids, she always wants what they have: presents, toys, ice cream, candy! This big FEELING comes over her and she doesn’t like it. It makes her say things like, “I want that!” What is that feeling and why does it make her feel so yucky? It’s JEALOUSY and it can only be conquered with GRATITUDE and KINDNESS. Learn with Maddie as she identifies and deals with her big emotions.
Meet Phoebe! In this second book about a plucky betta fish, Frank meets Phoebe, a shy but curious mystery snail. Frank and Phoebe take the time to learn about each other and, in the process, discover the importance of acceptance and the true meaning of friendship.
One of the things I love about this book is the beautiful imagery created with different angles and viewpoints inside and outside of Frank’s tank. I also love the many faces of Frank in this book. His personality shows more and more through his facial expressions and body language. Another thing I love is that like the first book, Frank the Fish Finds a Friend is based on a true story and a portion of all proceeds will be donated to a non-profit organization supporting friendship.
But most of all, I love the message. This book is a wonderful tribute to friendship, acceptance, trust, sharing, and humility. I try to teach my own children about friendship and while there are many books, shows, and movies about friendship, once again, Frank’s unique perspective gives the reader insight into both the complexity and simplicity of friendship.
The second book in a series is infinitely more challenging than the first. It’s important to maintain consistency in the characters and the world that’s been created. I am grateful to Sarah Burnett-Murray and Cory Cole for pouring their blood, sweat, and tears (of joy) into this project! Congratulations on this second publication!
I am pleased to announce a second fiction title for Twin Horseshoes, A Brush With Reality by Roger Sheehy! Roger is a self-proclaimed Renaissance man and I can attest to this claim. He brews his own beer, does woodworking, writes, travels, cooks, barbeques, and is in the process of learning Portuguese. Roger has a vivid imagination and a great sense of humour.
It is difficult to describe this book without giving too much away. I was intrigued by the idea from the first time Roger and I spoke. We’ve spent a significant amount of time with beta reviewers and fine tuning the story. There’s even some material that has been excluded from the book, but may appear in a spin off! What I will say is that this book has full and interesting characters, an detailed plot, and includes evidence of Roger’s wide body of knowledge from his life experience. All of this combined creates a page turner with a unique flavour. This book is perfect for anyone who enjoys a little bit of mystery and a great deal of creativity. Congratulations, Roger!
About the Book
An ancient curse or a family legacy? A scourge or a gift? What is that old saying…be careful what you wish for?
Things are rarely what they seem. Sean didn’t care. He just wanted a simple life, a normal life. He wanted his family back. Somewhere off the coast of Somalia, he made his decision. It was time to stop running, go home, and set things right. And when survival is on the line, a curse becomes a gift. But some things do not like to be ignored and a price must be paid.
There is a fine line between self-defense and excessive force, between justice and revenge. When you realize the power you have, do you choose to use it…or not?
Praise for A Brush With Reality
“Sean is running away from a secret. Roger Sheehy masterfully develops Sean, a relatable and interesting character, over this page-turner of a book. At the beginning, the author seems to be telling a simple but engaging story. We follow Sean’s adventures around the world, through New England and the Southeast, to the beaches of Mexico, and the Red Sea off the Somali coast. Along the way, Sean meets interesting and caring characters and develops lasting friendships and memories during his journey.
Eventually, Sean decides to return back to his family and to face his guilt and reveal his dark secret. But Sean’s secret has a twist. For the next several chapters, we find ourselves suspended between belief and disbelief. At this point, it was extremely hard to put the book down. The author continues to grab our attention until the last page. A Brush with Reality’s plot is really gripping. A joy to read, highly recommended. Five-star rating!”
– Mohamad Hindawi
“Sean has a tale to tell. One that, in Roger Sheehy’s debut, takes the reader along a path of discovery and disbelief, tragedy and humor, and with exquisite attention to detail that puts the reader in the moment. I had to laugh at Sean’s remedy to boarding Somalian pirates, but I also felt as I was there. At its base, the story is a classic tale of reward/payment due, and Sheehy even makes light of the manner in his work, but it is the character development that drives the reader to turn each page well past the time of normal sleep. Jumping in immediately with a grab-you hook, Sheehy then jumps to introducing the protagonist Sean in a classic yet ‘horrifying’ familial manner while hinting that Sean has a secret. A secret that even Sean doesn’t know in its entirety. And one that takes its pound of flesh when used. But power corrupts.
A page turner that is easy to read, the author obviously knowledgeable in his details, with an interesting protagonist and dark secret, I found Roger Sheehy’s A Brush with Reality to be a quality read and an author that I will definitely add to my list of must follow authors.”
– R. Robison
“Just finished A Brush With Reality from Roger Sheehy. This book is an easy-flowing page turner, perfect for a lazy Sunday by the beach, or curled up by a fire. Roger strings the past and present narratives together without overcomplication, and weaves them together into an imaginative story that subtly pulls you into its premise and locks you in. Balancing between playful and sobering moments, with characters to match, this tale will hold your attention from beginning to end. A Brush With Reality is a refreshing respite from the actual reality of our day-to-day world, and I highly recommend it for the reader in search of something ‘a little different’ for their collection.”
– Carl Scarborough, Blogger, Speaker, Cranky Old Man
“Roger Sheehy’s novel, A Brush with Reality, is an intriguing story about a young man named Sean who is running from the secrets of his past.
The story is filled with rich detail that brings the reader into Sean’s world from the very first page. A wonderful first novel, and I look forward to many more titles from this author!”
One of the things that I always tell the authors I work with is that print on demand has changed the self-publishing landscape. Previously, self-published authors had to source a printer, negotiate a contract, purchase hundreds (if not thousands) of books, and store and ship the books themselves. Instead, print on demand is when book copies are printed only as they are ordered, in the specified quantity, and shipped directly to the customer from the printer. For a relatively small piece of the royalty pie, self-publishing companies handle the orders, printing, and shipping and you get representation on their website. But, there is no huge up-front fee to buy thousands of books and no warehouse necessary.
I have known Shari Marshall since grade six. We both loved reading and writing from a young age. For that reason, this announcement is a special one. I am honoured to help Shari publish and launch her first novel, hopefully one of many! What I will say about this book, first and foremost, is that I’m amazed at the creativity and imagination produced from Shari’s mind. I know her well, but the world and characters she has created are truly incredible. A reader knows the mark of a good book when they don’t want it to be over.
Luckily, The Ember Stone is just the first book in a series called The Ember Files. I was drawn to several elements in this urban fantasy novel. The characters come to mind first, the depth involved in each one, but also the relationships between them. They seem to have special bonds that make you want to be part of the group. Books with magic always appeal to me and this one has it in abundance. It’s magic that makes logical sense though, it’s believable, almost natural. Finally, there are broader themes of good and evil, of right and wrong, of then and now. These themes help the reader make sense of a world that isn’t entirely familiar, but is intriguing in its own way.
The Ember Stone is an engaging read that sucks you in–don’t be surprised if you are still turning pages at three in the morning. There are plenty of surprises, lots of action, a healthy dose of drama, and much more to come!
Read the advanced reviews below…
“I was privileged to be offered an advanced reading of The Ember Stone, an urban fantasy book featuring shapeshifters with magical abilities and other supernatural characters. Being an avid reader and having read several other authors with books in this, and similar genres, I eagerly accepted Shari’s offer.
The Ember Stone opens with the main character Kori Ember. She is a complex female lead who over the course of the book gradually discovers and embraces her magical abilities and her importance in the supernatural world while she searches for her sister. Shari takes her time to thoroughly develop and bring the characters to life, their unique shapeshifting abilities, and their differing magical powers. The pace of the plot at first appeared to be slower with all the character development, but I quickly found this allowed me to create deeper connections with many of the secondary characters. Some of my favourites became Kori’s witty and sarcastic friend Fin, the mysterious and brooding Alaric who becomes Kori’s mentor in all things magical, Grama Pearle’s comedic, sidekick-friend Birdie, and, lastly, Belamey one of the perceived enemies. Shari had me utterly absorbed in guessing at all the characters’ supernatural abilities and their various roles in the ever-evolving magical world as the plot unfolded and the supernatural political issues begin to reveal themselves.
There is just the right amount of comedic relief set sporadically throughout the book including some penile humour, that does not come off as crass but instead provides a good belly laugh at just the right moments. In addition, Shari does a good job of maintaining the tension and pace of the book, so as a reader you quickly turn pages to uncover the mysteries she threads throughout the plot. I found her subtle development of key relationships between the characters kept me guessing for signs of a heated romance. I was delightfully entertained with the dynamic and spectacularly explosive action scenes, the unravelling plot twists, and the introduction to the various shapeshifters. Shari has created something truly unique. The end of the book foreshadows the possibility of a series with Kori which I look forward to visiting.
Shari captures a magical world interwoven within our own reality, a reality that is deeply imagined and utterly absorbing. I can not wait to return.”
Lianne Bilodeau, Avid Reader, Mother of Four, and Police Officer
“I was fortunate enough to be in the same virtual room when Shari Marshall announced she was looking for people to complete advanced reads of her debut novel, The Ember Stone.
Kori Ember is a conflicted young woman. She’s looking for her place in the world and has moved away as a rejection of a large part of her family heritage and history – the world of urban magic. She knew it to be a potentially dark side of life and preferred to live some undefined but normal existence.
Her path was less than satisfying and she was not finding a place of comfort when she heard that a group back home, active practitioners in both magic and of taking from others what they wanted for themselves, had decided that she, Kori Ember, had something they wanted, something powerful. They wanted it badly enough to take her family hostage and thus drew Kori into a fight she had not asked for but, with her young sibling and parents in danger, was resolved to finish.
For all her strengths, Kori had rejected what should have been her best weapon, her heritage, and innate skills in using magic.
The story unfolds as she worries about who she can trust, what magical tools are at her disposal, who her enemies are, and ultimately, what her comfortable place in life might look like.
Shari employs a unique voice to bring the reader into the room with Kori as she works through the challenge. There are surprises and humor and vivid imagery on every page as Kori learns quickly how to mount a rescue and fight the battle coming her way.
This was one fun read and I applaud Shari for such an engaging first novel.”
This is the second book from Vince Burruano. While the first book focused on next-level wisdom and refinement techniques for experienced professionals and leaders, this book starts at the beginning with the new sales rep. Start your sales career with this book and then, as you learn the ropes, you can move on to read A Daily Dose of Sales Wisdom. In both cases, Vince focuses on practical sales wisdom to achieve success.
Not every new sales professional has the benefit of a well-designed training program. This resource is meant to give new sales professionals the tools they need to jumpstart their career. It starts with the most important tasks, the ones you will need in the first weeks working in sales. Then it reviews the sales process and how to move through it effectively for each opportunity. Finally, as you build some proficiency in sales, the book reviews additional considerations to maximize your efforts and become a high-performing sales professional.
Regardless of your industry, The New Sales Professional’s Playbook will help you with practical advice, easy-to-understand ideas, and proven recommendations. The secret to sales success is you–capitalize on your greatest asset by starting off your career the right way!
Vince has also developed a wealth of online resources to supplement the book and make it easier to implement the strategies and tactics found in its pages. His passion for the sales profession and his desire to help others improve their craft are as evident in this book as in his first publication. Here are some advanced reviews for The New Sales Professional’s Playbook.
“A career in professional sales can be one of the most rewarding choices you can make, not just financially but emotionally, spiritually, and intellectually. But you need to get started on the right foot. Vince does an excellent job spelling out how to put the foundation in place for an amazing career.”
– Fred Diamond, Co-founder, Institute for Excellence in Sales, and Host of the Award-Winning Sales Game Changers Webcasts and Podcasts
“This is an awesome book. Vince lays the sales foundation for every sales organization to follow. I highly recommend that every sales leader buy this book for their front-line managers to help them develop, train, and coach their sales reps. This books gets 5 stars.”
– Thomas Ellis, Chief Sales Coach, EWC Consultants, and author of B.U.D. Better, Unique, & Desirable: The Sales Process That Gets Results
“Vince says: ‘Anyone who is committed to learning the art and science of selling can be successful.’ Drawing upon his real-world sales experience and expertise, Vince shows you how to be successful by laying out specific steps to follow along with practical examples and templates. Vince gives new and experienced sales professionals everything that is needed in a sales success kit.”
– Kevin Onarecker, Certified Executive Coach, Onarecker Consulting, Inc., and Author of Selling Smarter: Achieve Your Quota, Get Back on Track, & Work Strategically
“There are countless books and training resources out there meant to help people improve their selling skills. But the majority tend to focus on theoretical concepts that are often difficult to put into practice. Vince Burruano has created an actual playbook for aspiring sales professionals that does the exact opposite. This book is an absolute gift filled with tactical, actionable, and impactful guidance that can be implemented immediately. I would call it a must-have, ‘how-to’ guide filled with tangible insights, based on actual experiences. Effective selling is so much more than what happens during customer meetings. Vince knows this better than anyone. He shares what it takes to help move the needle for anyone who has made the decision to embark on a journey toward achieving excellence in one of the greatest professions in the world…SALES!”
– Geoff Snavely, Author of Disruptive Discovery: Uncovering the Stuff That Really Matters
I have published several books on the art and science of sales now. Having held a sales role previously, I like to think I have an appreciation for good material in this discipline. However, this is a book that I wish I had when I was a salesperson. I put a great deal of time and effort into planning and preparation (perhaps unlike others) and this book would certainly have helped.
There are a few things that make Selling Smarter unique. Kevin Onarecker originally developed this material in workshop format—it’s been tried, tested, and proven in his years of sales training and management. He knows from experience that not every organization has the resources to deliver a world-class training program and so he decided to publish his materials in a book that anyone and everyone could use to achieve success.
Another thing that makes this book unique is that it is a practical tool with worksheets and applications to help guide you through the process of business planning. These applications are not simply added on after the fact, but integrated throughout, ensuring that you understand each concept before moving onto the next. The content of the book and the applications cover how to achieve your quota efficiently, how to get back on track should you find yourself behind, and how to work strategically so that you’re maximizing your effort at all times.
Selling Smarter is the difference between reading the rule book, and playing the game. Not only do you have to play the game to see how the rules apply, but you need to play it enough that you understand the strategy behind the game. Try winning repeatedly and consistently without a strategy. That’s what Selling Smarter will help you do—win repeatedly and consistently in sales by formulating a smarter strategy and putting it into action.
Over the past few months, I have had the pleasure of working with Thomas Ellis. Thomas is considered by many to be a subject matter expert (SME) in coaching and developing business-to-business sales professionals. Thomas is highly regarded as the Expert “Sales 101” Trainer. His book, B.U.D. Better, Unique, & Desirable: The Sales Process That Gets Results, offers a sales philosophy that can positively impact sales and set sales professionals up for success.
The B.U.D. factor represents the characteristics one needs to embody in order to serve the customer and ultimately close more sales. This book examines the B.U.D. factor as it relates to each part of the sales process. Here are some advanced reviews!
“Fabulous book for those of us that have had a career in sales as well as for those just starting out. Thomas is the ultimate ‘Sales 101’ teacher! His B.U.D. (Better, Unique & Desirable) technique is applicable to every step of the sales process and to all sales situations. His writing style is easy and relatable. This book is a ‘basics’ reminder for experienced sales professionals and a terrific guide for beginners. I highly recommend this book! Easy read and very informational!”
– Joe Alvarez, Principal, NOS – National Office Systems
“Thomas uses the framework of ‘Better, Unique, and Desirable’ throughout the sales process to illustrate how to get on the same side with your clients and prospects to achieve results.”
– Ian Altman, Bestselling Co-author, Same Side Selling
“The B.U.D. approach is an easy to understand and apply strategy to help new and seasoned sales professionals improve their performance and achieve new heights in their sales career. Thomas clearly shows how you can apply these proven techniques to differentiate yourself from the competition and earn the trust and respect of both prospects and clients. I highly recommend this book to sales professionals and sales leaders wanting to achieve better results.”
– Vincent Burruano, Vice President Sales, Commercial Services Division, JK Moving Services
“In his book, B.U.D. Better, Unique, & Desirable: The Sales Process That Gets Results, Thomas Ellis provides salespeople with a road map for success in the information age. He clearly outlines the sales process that should be followed for communicating value, helping customers with their buying decision, and building long-term and worthwhile relationships. Thomas supports his work with useful case studies, and he communicates his expertise in bite-sized nuggets of easy-to-understand knowledge with a clear call to action. As a senior sales leader of leaders, I highly recommend Thomas’s book for anyone who wants to better connect with their customers in a more meaningful way and drive more topline revenue.”
– Bob Greene, CEO, RCG Workgroup
“I agree with so much of this… ‘You are not the used car salesperson’! Thomas Ellis’s book is filled with so many easy-to-digest and internalize nuggets of sales tips. Definitely a must read for the sales professional at every stage of development. B.U.D. serves as an instructional for the novice, a refresher to the seasoned salesperson, and a reference tool for the sales manager.”
– Dennis Harris, Senior Managing Partner, SURE, LLC
“B.U.D. Better, Unique, & Desirable: The Sales Process That Gets Results explores several counterintuitive routes to sales success, but it starts with the most important skill of all: preparation. If we want to impress others—with our ideas, our products, our services, or even ourselves—we have to conduct research and understand to whom we are talking. And if you listen to Thomas Ellis, you’ll learn the attitudes and abilities required to master the new world of sales.”
– Patrick McFadden, Founder & Marketing Consultant, Indispensable Marketing
“There are few books on sales and sales process that inspire a vetted sales veteran to take notes and highlight key themes throughout the book for themselves and their clients; however, that is exactly what I found myself doing as I read, B.U.D. Better, Unique, & Desirable: The Sales Process That Gets Results. Thomas does an incredible job of simplifying the process and providing bite-sized nuggets for the reader to consume, then apply to make themselves a B.U.D. sales professional. Whether you are new to sales or leading a multi-national team, this is the new roadmap to winning in sales!”
– Ed Ross, Global Sales Enablement Consultant
“Thomas Ellis is B.U.D. From the moment I met him, I was drawn to his ability to make selling more interesting and engaging to prospects. His process is easy to follow and gets results. This book is engaging and full of relatable stories around mindset, networking, building relationships, prospecting, running appointments properly, moving sales forward, closing business, and nurturing clients. Each of these golden nuggets are positioned to help sales professionals serve their client more effectively by selling better. Two thumbs up. A must read for anyone looking to improve their sales process.”
– Brynne Tillman, CEO, LinkedIn Whisperer at Social Sales Link
Twin Horseshoes is publishing its first children’s book! Coming soon, Frank the Fish Finds His Forever Home is a story about a betta fish named Frank. Frank is more person than fish. He loves his people, he likes his routine, and he knows what he wants. Unlike most fish, he’s very expressive and is more than capable of conveying his displeasure or joy. After a journey full of ups and downs, Frank realizes that home isn’t about where you live, it’s about who you love and who loves you.
I feel very lucky to do what I do, helping people to publish their stories, and this book is the perfect example. Not only does it contain themes like moving, pet care, and what it means to be a family, but it includes thoughtful information on the ideas of adoption and acceptance, trust and change. We can all learn from a little fish called Frank. I can’t wait to read this book to my daughters.
What makes this book even more special is that it’s based on the true story of a real betta fish named Frank. Finding his forever home is just the beginning…stay tuned for more of Frank’s adventures in the coming months. Please join me in congratulating the author, Sarah Burnett-Murray, and illustrator, Cory Cole, for creating such a magical children’s book!
I’ve been thinking recently about why people write and why they publish. In my experience, it’s typically because they need to express something: thoughts, feelings, or experiences. The writing of these thoughts, feelings, and experiences is therapeutic for many. But why people publish is very different from why they write. Writers publish because they feel they have a unique perspective, they can offer advice or experiences that might help someone else, they simply want to be a published author, they are establishing themselves as an expert in their career or industry, or even because they have information no one else does that should be captured. There are many reasons and they are all good.