“What Passes as Love”
by Trisha Thomas
A young woman pays a devastating price for freedom in this heartrending and breathtaking novel of the nineteenth-century South.
Born into slavery, Dahlia never knew her mother. When Dahlia’s father takes her to work in his plantation as a servant, she leaves behind her best friend, Bo, and lives in a world between black and white.
(NewsUSA)"What’s Not True"
by Valerie Taylor With the court date set for her divorce and the future she’d planned with a younger man presumably kaput, Kassie O’Callaghan shifts attention to reviving her stalled marketing career. But that goal gets complicated when she unexpectedly rendezvous with her former lover in Paris. After a chance meeting with a colleague and a stroll along Pont Neuf, Kassie receives two compelling proposals. Can she possibly accept them both?Kassie’s decision process screeches to a halt when her soon-to-be ex-husband has a heart attack, forcing her to fly home. She confronts his conniving fiancée — a woman who wants not just a ring but everything that belongs to Kassie. In the ensuing battle, Kassie discovers that sometimes it’s what’s not true that can set you free. Purchase at https://amzn.to/2RR1UrC. "Aloha With Love"
by Lindy MillerTwo hearts. One broken home. And the house that will bring them together. Soon to be a Motion Picture.After an already tough week, Jenna Burke receives word that her beloved Aunt May passed away. Traveling back to her Hawaiian hometown for the reading of the will, Jenna and her sister inherit May’s dilapidated Victorian home on desirable beachfront. There’s one catch: the house must be renovated before it can be sold, and May even stipulated a contractor — Ben Fletcher, who is driving Jenna crazy.As May’s old house starts to feel like home again, Jenna is torn between the life she’s been chasing in the city, and the one she’d left behind. Purchase at https://amzn.to/2VOleYk. "The Devil Pulls the Strings"
by J.W. Zarek If you like when tortured heroes, epic battles, time travel, twisted history and secret societies collide, then you’ll love J. W. Zarek’s spectacular page-turner. This is an epic fantasy adventure set in modern-day Wentzville, MO, New York City, and 1813 Genoa, Italy.Boone Daniels has problems — a debilitating panic attack, gut-wrenching guilt, a wendigo haunting him since age six, and now he almost killed his best friend. But when he fills in for his injured friend, a body falls from the brownstone balcony and the place explodes with gun fire. Boone escapes but uncovers a sinister plot to perform a rare Paganini piece that summons the Devil to trap Baba Yaga and destroy modern-day New York. Purchase at https://amzn.to/2SKZtaG. "We Can Save the World…But The Last Crystal Trilogy (The Black Alabaster Box)"
by Peri ScottA historical fantasy for middle grade/young adult readers and anyone who loves an adventure. A Broadway musical director and avid lifelong reader says, "If you love the fantasy of ‘Harry Potter,’ the time travel of ‘Wrinkle in Time,’ and the history of ‘The Little House on the Prairie,’ this is for you." It spans 100 years and two world wars, starting on the Santa Fe Trail in 1856 and ending on the famous Santa Fe Chief train in 1944.The children haven’t heard of the Last Crystal or its life-giving water until they are drawn into a magical quest to save it, facing life-threatening challenges along the way. Purchase at https://amzn.to/3x3PHPq.NOTE: BookBites is presented by BookTrib.com.
(NewsUSA) -The number of independent workers, small business owners and freelancers in the United States continues to grow as more workers embrace the flexibility and autonomy of being their own bosses. However, being THE boss also brings the need to wear many hats — office manager, marketing specialist, accountant, tech support — all while juggling multiple clients, time zones, and media platforms.In spite of the global pandemic, the freelance market continues to mature, driving a 22% increase in the workforce since 2019. This trend is expected to continue especially as companies have become more reliant on freelancers for essential contributions to their daily operations. Increasingly, independent workers are now shifting the way they self-identify away from the more conventional titles of "consultant" and "freelancer" in favor of more fluid terms such as "entrepreneur" to match the changing business climate.According to a recent 2021 survey of more than 200 independent workers by Indy – the all-inclusive, online platform for independent business owners — approximately 25 percent of respondents identified themselves as "business owners." And regardless, these entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, freelancers and business owners all want the tools and resources needed to help ensure the professional operation of their businesses. That means they want solutions to help manage administrative tasks, including invoicing, billing, dealing with contracts, expenses and organizing workflow.Smart strategies help independent workers focus on delivering for their clients, maximizing their potential and competing in a decentralized marketplace. Whether they are working strictly on their own, or managing a few other employees in a small venture, Indy helps fill the niche for freelancers and small business owners by offering a complete productivity suite that streamlines operations with the time-saving support features that help any business run smoothly and successfully."Ultimately, we believe in fostering community over competition and empowering today’s ‘indies’ – the independent professionals, side hustlers and small business owners, to attain the stability and control required to be more successful, achieve a state of steady income and grow their business," according to Sebastian Gyr, Indy co-founder and CEO.Indy offers solutions specifically geared for the needs of self-employed business owners with tools that are simple, cost-effective and transferable across devices and platforms. Freelancers can use Indy’s Proposal Templates to create new business proposals and land new clients. The tools all integrate to form a seamless workflow for aspiring freelancers who want to simplify their admin. Once a client agrees to a proposal, Contract Templates are available to quickly send the new client a professional contract and start the job. Later, once the work is finished, Indy’s Invoice Templates give freelancers a starting point to create a professional invoice quickly. Each invoice can integrate with payment providers like PayPal and Stripe to make tracking payments easy, too. All the tools work together to make running a small business easier.Today’s self-employed business owners take their business seriously, and they deserve the tools and support to make the most of it.Visit weareindy.com for more information and to create an account.
(NewsUSA) – Despite the reinstatement of precautions related to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, travel remains possible in most areas, especially for individuals who are vaccinated. The urge for escape has prompted a surge in interest in adventure travel to experience other places, cultures, and wildlife. A Galapagos Cruise with Quasar Expeditions offers an unparalleled experience in the legendary Galapagos Islands for families, photography/wildlife enthusiasts, honeymooners, and adventurers of all ages.Travel to the Galapagos on a luxury yacht offers visitors a unique opportunity to avoid cruise ship crowds and experience a safari-style adventure in deluxe accommodations. Other benefits of small ship cruising include more attention from expert guides, and more opportunities to take advantage of life-changing close-up encounters with the Islands’ unique wildlife. Watch a video of these amazing encounters here.Quasar Expeditions, a leader in the small cruise ship industry for more than three decades, offers 8-day and 15-day Galapagos luxury cruises on one of two yachts. Their vintage Grace Yacht was once owned by Princess Grace Kelly in the 1950’s and it served as the honeymoon yacht for the royal couple soon after they wed. It carries a maximum of 16 guests and is maintained to a modern and elegant standard. The Evolution Yacht, a larger but no less luxurious ship in Roaring 20s style, takes a maximum of 32 guests along the footsteps of the famous naturalist, Charles Darwin who explored and studied the Galapagos Islands."We do not sell to the tourist. We cater to the traveler," according to the company’s website."We strive to make sure our guests connect on an emotional level with the destination and all it encompasses; it is a journey for transformation."Although the Galapagos boasts moderate temperatures year-round, fall in particular offers several unique opportunities, including snorkeling encounters with sea lions and pups, exceptional lighting conditions for photography enthusiasts, glimpses of giant tortoises laying eggs, and a good chance of whale and dolphin sightings.All Quasar cruises on both yachts offer additional features that appeal to today’s travelers:Sustainability: Quasar Expeditions’ unique commitment to sustainability extends from a zero single-use plastic policy and carbon-neutral emissions to partnerships with organizations that combat over-tourism and the commercialization of indigenous cultures.Flexibility: Quasar offers a risk-free booking and cancellation policy, and cruises also allow for flexibility to capitalize on unexpected peak wildlife encounters.For more details, visit www.quasarex.com/galapagos.
(NewsUSA) – Stress — it’s everywhere. But there is an easy form of stress reduction that is as simple as opening your front door.Spending time outside can help improve your physical and mental health, and you don’t have to be an extreme athlete to reap the benefits.Studies show that simply going out for a walk in nature can help build strength and endurance, and contribute to feelings of relaxation and resilience. Being active outside has proven benefits for people’s minds and bodies.Rail-trails in particular are ideal for individuals of all abilities and fitness levels to safely enjoy the outdoors. Rail-trails are multipurpose public paths created from former railroad corridor. That means they are flat or gently sloping, have a hard surface that makes them accessible to all types of activities and are available in rural and urban areas.Rails-to-Trails Conservancy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to connecting communities across America with trails. One way they do this is through promoting the value of time spent outside — by encouraging people to make "trail moments" a regular part of their lives and sharing these experiences to inspire others to discover the convenience and joy of being active outside on trails."I feel really lucky to have grown up in Virginia, and now I live in Washington state, with lots of access to these trails, but there are literally thousands of miles of rail-trails all over the country," says Miranda Webster, (@mirandagoesoutside) a longtime outdoor-enthusiast."So, whether you are mountain biking, hiking, walking your dog, or riding your bike, I hope that you’re able to find a trail near you where you can enjoy it as much as I have through my entire life," she says.Travel blogger Jeff Jenkins (@chubbydiaries_), based in Texas, has taken his wanderlust to local trails in a series of blogs and videos for the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy."Now, I’m showing people how to discover their own backyards, from their local cities to national parks, trails and the great outdoors," says Mr. Jenkins, who has also created an online community for plus-sized travelers at chubbydiaries.com."So often people see trails as a way to get a little outdoor recreation, and yes, that’s true," says Ian Mackay (@ians_ride), who regularly enjoys the trails in rural Washington state from his power wheelchair. "But it is so much more for me… having a safe trail space where I can go explore my own interests, interact with the community, and run my own errands is monumental to my happiness," adds Mr. Mackay, who is also the founder of Ian’s Ride, a nonprofit organization.This fall, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy is taking inspiration from the thousands of stories that people have shared about the personal impact of time spent outside on trails and encouraging people of all ages and abilities to make a habit of it. Their #TrailMoments 21-Day Challenge offers fun activities to encourage people to get out on the trail every day.Visit the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy website for more information and tips on making outdoor time part of your daily routine. www.railstotrails.org/trailmoments and @railstotrails #TrailMoments on social media.
(NewsUSA) – The idea to build giant LED screens is not a new concept.Historically called "Megatrons or Jumbotrons," they have been used to generate buzz and a visual identity for properties and in some cases to generate the majority of the revenue for the buildings they are affixed to.Nowhere has this been more evident than in Times Square. Like the neon signs and painted wallscapes before them, these LED signs were the beginning of a new era, a generational embrace of new technology affixed to hundred-year-old bricks, windows and recycled steel skeletons whose entire purpose has been to engage and elicit a response, a feeling and a call to action from the world around them.The recent trend of working from home that was accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic clearly illustrates the need for fluidity in the way corporations, individuals and landlords have to work together to promote and ensure health, safety and satisfaction within commercial and retail real estate environments.An example of a project that is currently under construction in New York that is embracing this concept, is 1568 Broadway, "TSX."The project includes three digital and two static signs on the fa?ade, one of which is being built with an open-air stage overlooking Times Square, as well as full audio capabilities in order to make it the new epicenter of Times Square, where something equally iconic as the ball drop can occur year-round.According to the development team, "TSX Broadway will provide a single brand with the most powerful marketing tool in the world, the most technologically advanced signage and lighting package in New York City. There will be an 18,000-square-foot LED sign wrapping the podium, and a full-building fa?ade lighting system that will activate the entire 46-story tower as a branded beacon."Imagine a commercial tenant experience where you are able to wake up in one of several overnight suites, an iPad or other connected device enabling you to operate different functionalities in your room, book a time at the fitness center and order breakfast, all before heading to your office.At lunch, you head out and are constantly engaged both consciously and subconsciously by lighting, sounds, smells, images, and digital messages in the elevators, lobbies and as you emerge outside on the building’s fa?ade itself.All of this coupled with beacon technology, geo-fencing and rapidly progressing programmatic media capabilities ensure that tenant engagement will be even more consistently and intuitively woven into the fabric of our daily lives as we return to the new post-COVID normal.With all these layers of technology working synchronously with brick and mortar, brands and sponsors will be better able to monitor, track, modify and manage media campaigns.This immersive and experiential centered approach to real estate can be used in all types of real estate environments, utilizing technologies that prompt a shift away from the "look at me" effect and towards engagement, that is, "how does it make me feel?"The time is now to begin integrating the various technologies at our disposal simultaneously.By operating this type of real estate model, implementing and innovating rapidly across vertical technology sectors, we can collapse the time table from conceptual to the new normal and write the narrative for how real estate, media, and technology cohabit in the world of our future. Matthew A Knee is president of GCG Media Services.
(NewsUSA) – Real-life stories of Hollywood royalty, chronicles of singing poets and lovers, displays of supernatural super heroics and much more will vie for your attention across multiplex and media as the fall film season gets fully underway.
Filmmakers continue to showcase the movies they’ve been safely creating during the pandemic, and you’ll get a variety of new fare to enjoy on both big screens and home streaming in the months ahead.
Anticipated sequels and franchises include “No Time to Die,” the latest Daniel Craig 007 film; “Dune,” which covers half of the dense sci-fi novel about outer- space wars; “Halloween Kills” with further mayhem between Michael Myers and scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis; and “Maverick,” Tom Cruise’s long-awaited follow-up to “Top Gun.”
True-life sagas range from director Ridley Scott’s chronicle of a murderous fashion family with “House of Gucci,” starring Lady Gaga and Adam Driver to Aaron Sorkin’s “Being the Ricardos,” with Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem as television idols Lucy and Desi Arnaz. Two tragic legends also get the big-screen treatment as Kristen Stewart plays Princess Diana in “Spencer” and Ana de Armas embodies Marilyn Monroe in “Blonde.” And “King Richard” stars Will Smith as the father and coach of the Williams tennis sisters.
After the recent successes of Marvel on television, an emboldened box office run should continue with recent Oscar winner Chloé Zhao’s”Eternals,” featuring an ensemble of immortal gods such as Richard Madden, Angelina Jolie and Salma Hayek plus the third in the latest “Spider-Man” trilogy,” “No Way Home,” injecting a bit of twisty multiverse time travel into the teen webslinger’s adventures.
“Dear Evan Hansen” with Ben Platt as a troubled teenager opposite Amy Adams and Julianne Moore, ushers in a season of musicals, followed by Peter Dinklage in an acclaimed crooning performance as “Cyrano”; Andrew Garfield as an artist on the brink of hitting it big as he faces an early mid-life crisis in “Tick Tick Boom”; the Colombia-set Disney animated family feature “Encanto,” about a magical family and Steven Spielberg’s version of “West Side Story,” starring Ansel Elgort and Rachel Zegler as star-crossed lovers in the ganglands of New York.
Awards season will heat up when Martin Scorsese presents “Killers of the Flower Moon,” starring Leo DiCaprio and Robert DeNiro, Jane Campion showcases “Power of the Dog” with Kirsten Dunst and Benedict Cumberbatch, and Guillermo del Toro delivers “Nightmare Alley” with Bradley Cooper and Cate Blanchett. The next movie by the droll Wes Anderson, “The French Dispatch,” features talent such as Timothée Chalamet and Bill Murray.
Some other anticipated fare includes “Don’t Look Up,” a comet comedy with DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence; Kenneth Branagh’s personal black-and- white historical drama “Belfast” with Jamie Dornan and Judi Dench; and the artsy “Last Night in Soho” with eccentric leading lady Anya Taylor-Joy. Plus there’s some unexpected casting including Denzel Washington as the title character in “Tragedy of Macbeth” and Brendan Fraser as a 600-pound man in “The Whale.”
There’s something for everyone, and expect these and many more to receive their bite-sized reviews weekly at www.SilverScreenCapture.com.
(Silver Screen Capture)By Stephen Michael Brown
Chief Film Critic, Silver Screen CaptureReal-life stories of Hollywood royalty, chronicles of singing poets and lovers, displays of supernatural super heroics and much more will vie for your attention across multiplex and media as the fall film season gets fully underway.Filmmakers continue to showcase the movies they’ve been safely creating during the pandemic, and you’ll get a variety of new fare to enjoy on both big screens and home streaming in the months ahead.Anticipated sequels and franchises include "No Time to Die," the latest Daniel Craig 007 film; "Dune," which covers half of the dense sci-fi novel about outer- space wars; "Halloween Kills" with further mayhem between Michael Myers and scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis; and "Maverick," Tom Cruise’s long-awaited follow-up to "Top Gun."True-life sagas range from director Ridley Scott’s chronicle of a murderous fashion family with "House of Gucci," starring Lady Gaga and Adam Driver to Aaron Sorkin’s "Being the Ricardos," with Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem as television idols Lucy and Desi Arnaz. Two tragic legends also get the big-screen treatment as Kristen Stewart plays Princess Diana in "Spencer" and Ana de Armas embodies Marilyn Monroe in "Blonde." And "King Richard" stars Will Smith as the father and coach of the Williams tennis sisters.After the recent successes of Marvel on television, an emboldened box office run should continue with recent Oscar winner Chloé Zhao’s"Eternals," featuring an ensemble of immortal gods such as Richard Madden, Angelina Jolie and Salma Hayek plus the third in the latest "Spider-Man" trilogy," "No Way Home," injecting a bit of twisty multiverse time travel into the teen webslinger’s adventures."Dear Evan Hansen" with Ben Platt as a troubled teenager opposite Amy Adams and Julianne Moore, ushers in a season of musicals, followed by Peter Dinklage in an acclaimed crooning performance as "Cyrano"; Andrew Garfield as an artist on the brink of hitting it big as he faces an early mid-life crisis in "Tick Tick Boom"; the Colombia-set Disney animated family feature "Encanto," about a magical family and Steven Spielberg’s version of "West Side Story," starring Ansel Elgort and Rachel Zegler as star-crossed lovers in the ganglands of New York.Awards season will heat up when Martin Scorsese presents "Killers of the Flower Moon," starring Leo DiCaprio and Robert DeNiro, Jane Campion showcases "Power of the Dog" with Kirsten Dunst and Benedict Cumberbatch, and Guillermo del Toro delivers "Nightmare Alley" with Bradley Cooper and Cate Blanchett. The next movie by the droll Wes Anderson, "The French Dispatch," features talent such as Timothée Chalamet and Bill Murray.Some other anticipated fare includes "Don’t Look Up," a comet comedy with DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence; Kenneth Branagh’s personal black-and- white historical drama "Belfast" with Jamie Dornan and Judi Dench; and the artsy "Last Night in Soho" with eccentric leading lady Anya Taylor-Joy. Plus there’s some unexpected casting including Denzel Washington as the title character in "Tragedy of Macbeth" and Brendan Fraser as a 600-pound man in "The Whale."There’s something for everyone, and expect these and many more to receive their bite-sized reviews weekly at www.SilverScreenCapture.com.
(NewsUSA) – With school back in session, now is a good time for college students to consider their potential career options.Unfortunately, many students know little about the financial planning profession. This includes being unfamiliar with what financial planners do, the variety of career opportunities available, the skillsets that are helpful in the profession and how the career can be personally rewarding.What Financial Planners DoFinancial planning is much more than working with spreadsheets, budgets, sales and stock tickers.Financial planners help individuals and families make sound financial and investment decisions to achieve life goals based on their priorities and fundamental values. They can help their clients save for college, pay off debt, purchase a home, start a business, preserve family wealth and plan for retirement. Financial planners can also help businesses design and manage retirement plans and other financial welfare programs for their employees.Most people think all financial planners are "certified," but this isn’t true. Just about anyone can use the title "financial planner," but a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional is a financial planner that has met rigorous qualifications. Most important, a CFP® professional made a commitment to CFP Board to act in the best interests of their client.A CFP® professional establishes a one-on-one relationship with each of their clients. They also provide holistic advice to guide clients through all aspects of their finances and help them maximize their potential for meeting their financial goals.Career OpportunityThe financial planning profession is in a period of significant growth.For example, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 19,200 openings for personal financial advisors are projected each year throughout the next decade. Many of these openings are expected to result from the need to replace advisors who transfer to different occupations. What’s more, part of this aging wave includes advisors themselves, many of whom — about 37% — are expected to retire over the next decade.As for opportunity, financial advisor-related jobs are ranked fourth in "Best Business Jobs" by U.S. News and World Report. Additionally, those who obtain credentials, such as CFP® certification, will likely have the best job prospects.Helpful SkillsTo help clients reach their financial goals, financial planners need knowledge of budgeting, taxes, financial products, investments and investment markets.They also need to possess analytical skills, as it is common for entry-level professionals to start their career supporting a financial planner. In this role they would gather and maintain client data, enter it into financial planning software, and then analyze and examine financial plans with the financial planner or the financial planning team.As for interpersonal skills, students considering a career in financial planning should enjoy working on teams, helping and responding to people, and communicating with others. They should also enjoy listening to people’s needs, asking questions and developing financial plans — while possessing high integrity and a "coaching" mindset.A Rewarding CareerA financial planner also enjoys the rewards that come with helping their clients bring all of the pieces of their financial lives together. For example, a career in financial planning can provide:
(NewsUSA) – The arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic has forced people to live most of their lives, including work, entertainment, and personal interactions, online. All this screen time has taken a toll, as more people of all ages are reporting symptoms of "cybersickness."Cybersickness was a phenomenon before the pandemic, but had been studied mostly in the context of up-and-coming virtual reality games. Cybersickness is a form of motion sickness, characterized by nausea, disorientation, and oculomotor disturbances, according to a study of the problem by Kay Stanney and colleagues, published in 2020 in the International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction.A recent article in National Geographic explains how cybersickness is seasickness in reverse. Instead of your body moving while your perception thinks you should be still, such as the experience of being on a boat while looking at a fixed horizon. In a virtual world your body is still, but your senses are perceiving motion, whether through video games, zoom meetings, or just endless scrolling.Fortunately, the dizziness and discomfort of too much screen time can be eased by some of the same strategies that work on other types of motion sickness.For example, the Sea-Band wristband is designed to relieve the symptoms of motion and travel sickness naturally through the use of acupressure. Specifically, the Sea-Bands include studs sewn inside that put gentle, steady pressure on the P6 (Nei-Kuan) acupressure point. Studies have shown that applying pressure to this point relieves the nausea associated with motion sickness."Because the bands do not use drugs, they do not cause any of the side effects associated with anti-nausea drugs and can be worn on each wrist whenever you feel nauseous," according to the company website.Sea-Band wristbands can be used by anyone, adults or children, and usually have an effect on symptoms within five minutes of putting one on, according to the company. Sea-Bands are latex-free, washable, and reusable, and they can be used in combination with other anti-nausea medications.Sea-Bands can help relieve not only the nausea and dizziness associated with motion sickness and cybersickness, but also post-surgery nausea, nausea associated with chemotherapy, and nausea associated with pregnancy. And Sea-Band products are HSA- and FSA-approved, so they are covered by many health insurance plans.For more information, visit sea-band.com.