Author Spotlight

Shielded Past by Patti Morelli


Review –  Shielded Past by Patti Morelli

The romantic marriage proposal, the perfect house in the New Jersey suburbs, and the promise of a real family. Patti Morelli’s Shielded Past introduces thirty four year old Kate Lawson, who was stepping into the dawn of a life she had dreamed of since her days of transience in foster care through her lonely twenties.

It was finally happening for her. When handsome Gregg Lawson came to her perfume counter in a Manhattan Macy’s looking for a men’s cologne, he left without a purchase but with Kate’s heart in his back pocket. From that point on, only their future together mattered.

The young couple embark on their life together by renovating their new home and preparing for the arrival of their first child in the shadows of the closed down Marlboro Psychiatric Hospital.

When a skittish Kate finds herself alone more often than she is accustomed to because Gregg needs to work frequent long-term projects out of town, she begins to feel unsettling emotions she cannot explain as strange dreams, noises in the house, and lights from the old hospital keep her awake at night.

With a feeling of safety secured through the support and companionship of her lifelong friend, Annie, Kate is able to temporarily fill the empty and uneasy days of Gregg’s absence. Encouraged by Annie, Kate yearns for maternal influences, and the pregnancy compels her to delve into her shielded past to find her birth mother which unravels a family history she was not emotionally prepared for; a past that NO ONE was prepared for.

Complete with a private investigator, Shielded Past lays out the clues of Kate’s tragic childhood through a loyal friend, a ghostly presence, an abusive murderer, a quiet stranger, and more!

Each discovery demands an almost sadistic investigation through torture, bloodied secrets, and imprisonment to satisfy truth-seekers. Morelli strategically puts the parallel lives of her many characters on paths that methodically intersect with Kate at unexpected junctures, providing only a residue of suggestion that will tease the curiosity of readers all the way to the final sentence!



Author: Chris Niebauer

The Neurotics Guide to Avoiding Enlightenment:

How the Left-Brain Plays Unending Games of Self-Improvement



“Meditation, Tai chi and Yoga have become more common but these practices are usually not done correctly if one has a long history of investing in the ego.”

“The mind is a good servant but a terrible master”

Book Description:

Has self-improvement really improved the self?

More than ever people are on a quest for self-improvement and enlightenment. People are “watching” their egos or losing their egos in order to find peace of mind or to get along better with others. And yet, the more we try to lose our ego, the more of it there is to lose. The more we try to make peace, the more we find conflict. It is exactly what happens when we try not to think of the number 3 and that is all we can think about. Our efforts seem to have the opposite effect and this is due to the way the left side of the brain processes information.

Neuroscience discovered that the left brain makes up elaborate stories and convincing explanations. It is the left brain that makes up the most elaborate and convincing story of all, the story of who you think you are. And the more we try to get out of this story, the deeper we find ourselves in it because it is the function of the left brain to work on the law of opposition. Try not to be anxious and that’s exactly what happens. Try not to worry and you will be flooded with anxious thoughts. And the same is true for self-improvement. The more we try to improve our story, the more the story needs to be improved. The left brain excels at these games even when it plays by pretending not to play. If I said that all attempts at self-improvement are futile, how would you respond? Would you reflexively think I’m wrong? Is there any way not to play these games of the left brain? Which part of your brain do you think is asking this question?

This book was written for the ordinary person who has an extraordinary curiosity for who they are, how thoughts work and why they cannot control their thoughts. It is a practical guide that uses examples from my kids, favorite movies and TV shows from the 80s and 90s along with simple exercises so you can see for yourself if any of this is on track. While no special knowledge of the neurosciences is required, you may understand many of the examples if you’ve seen an episode or two of Star Trek or Seinfeld.

While this work is based on the teachings of Alan Watts and Eckhart Tolle it integrates the findings of modern neuroscience which surprisingly reveals a similar message. It is the desire for enlightenment that is the biggest block to happiness and peace, in fact, it is the only block. It is not until one gives up the quest to find oneself, improve oneself or be more spiritual, that one can ever find the peace they are looking for. And it is not your ego that gives up this quest, it is you.

For more information and an interactive reference/notes section see my blog:

Author Bio


Cognitive Neuroscience Professor and Author: The Neurotic’s Guide to Avoiding Enlightenment: How the Left-Brain Plays Unending Games of Self-Improvement.

I mostly played guitar as a kid and graduated high school with no ideas of college. Then, in a strange thought, not even knowing what a Ph.D. was, decided to get one in psychology. I went to Kent state for my undergrad and ended up with a  Ph.D. in Cognitive Neuropsychology from the University of Toledo where I specialized in left-right brain differences. I have conducted research on consciousness, handedness, beliefs and the sense of self and am currently an associate professor of cognitive psychology. You can reach me at






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Author: Gary L. Smith

The Customer Condundrum:

9 Crucial Steps for Winning Customers

and Outsmarting Your Competition

Book for promo

Excerpts:Excerpt 4


Excerpt 2

Excerpt 3

Book Description:

There is clearly a huge gulf that has been created in the arena of customer service.  This gulf exists between what business owners espouse as their customer service philosophies and what customers are actually experiencing in their daily personal and business transactions.  What’s worse is that this “gulf” appears to be widening, especially with the impact of global operations and sourcing.

In The Customer Conundrum, Gary Smith identifies the core issues relating to the customer service gulf, and then gives solid, practical advice on how you can create, maintain, and lead a true customer-centric organization.

Author Bio:


Gary Smith is a business and personal coach, business consultant, professional speaker, and author. He is the founder and president of Optimum Performance Technologies, LLC.

Gary shares his expertise and professionalism with his clients as he employs his years of experience as a problem solver and visionary leader. People are inspired and motivated by Gary’s insights in the areas of human behavior and business dynamics. He has a keen ability to simplify, communicate, and apply effective strategies for creating positive, profitable, lasting results. Gary combines the elements of entertainment, education, and empowerment to lead the way to optimized performance.

An accomplished business professional with years of technical and executive experience, Gary has worked with some of the world’s most prestigious and innovative companies. His expertise lies in a unique ability to increase productivity, performance, and profitability at all organizational levels.

Gary is an experienced business and personal coach and mentor who is deeply committed to the success of his clients. His caring demeanor and open sharing of his life experiences create an atmosphere of trust that facilitates the learning and achievement process. As a best-selling author and professional speaker, he shares a deep knowledge and understanding of business and personal development with his audiences in an energetic, fun, and informative way.

Gary is also a radio personality. He currently hosts The Gary Smith Show, a weekly broadcast on business and personal development, that airs every Saturday morning on WSDK, 1550 AM in Hartford, CT. Gary’s show can be heard around the world via the Internet at .





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