BEYOND PIPE DREAMS AND PLATITUDES: Insights on Love, Luck, and Narcissism from a Longtime Psychologist

“My Author Representative was extremely helpful throughout the process. She was very responsive to all my many questions. She is a gem!”

Dr. Geraldine K. Piorkowski is a retired clinical psychologist who received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Since then, she has worked in a variety of academic and clinical settings for over fifty years. Besides holding the position of Chair of the Psychology Department at Roosevelt University, Chicago, she was also on the faculty at the University of Illinois at Chicago; the New Jersey College of Medicine and Dentistry in Newark and the Northwestern Medical School in Chicago. In addition, she was director of the counseling centers at two large, urban universities in Chicago. She is the author of many psychological articles and two books on romantic love: Too Close for Comfort: Exploring the Risks of Intimacy and Adult Children of Divorce: Confused Love Seekers. Currently, she is on the local Board of the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society and lives in Chicago with her husband of 61 years.

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Book description…

What to do when popular culture leads up astray. In this eye-opening collection of essays, Dr. Geraldine K. Piorkowski shares what she learned working with people from different socioeconomic levels, races, sexual orientations, and walks of life. Besides reaffirming that all people are fundamentally the same, she discovered many psychological realities that run counter to popular culture. Among her insights is the observation that positive thinking does more harm than good at times, especially when it bypasses the normal processing of negative events and emotions. Another cultural misdirection is the overemphasis on romantic love as the be-all and end-all of existence, where unrealistic expectations lead to love’s downfall. She also notes that unhealthy narcissism, which runs rampant in American culture, is quite different from the healthy variety that is the bedrock of self-love. These illuminating and provocative essays, titled 1) Positive Thinking Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be, 2) When Is Madness Better than Sadness? 3) Romantic Love Is Mostly an Illusion, 4) Vulnerable People Are More Likable than Super-Confident Ones, 5) You Can’t Make Anybody Do Anything, 6) Luck or Chance Has Been Badly Underrated, 7) A Smidgen of Narcissism Adds Joy and Spice to Life, and 8) Empathy and Healthy Religion Go Hand in Hand, all provide a new understanding of psychological health and well-being.

Introducing Christopher B. Soltis, author of Return to Spirit

“I couldn’t have asked for a smoother process in publishing my first book. Thanks!”

Born and raised in the suburbs of New Jersey, Chris has always followed his heart in performing, writing and recording music on his own and with his band enjoy! He has an unmatched zest for life and infinitely curious about the universe. He is a Certified Financial Planner registrant, certified to teach Vinyasa yoga, multi-instrumentalist and recording artist. Chris’ passions include traveling, paddleboarding, golf, skiing, biking, New York Yankees baseball, the beach and spending time with family and friends as well as making new ones. He is eternally devoted to the discipline and philosophy of yoga. Chris believes in every person’s unlimited potential and views humanity as an evolutionary and creative process in which we are all active participants and equally connected to something much bigger.

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Book description…

Life doesn’t come with an instruction manual. We are all born with different circumstances and opportunities and learn from our mistakes and experiences. The knowledge and wisdom gained are invaluable and make us stronger in mind, body and Spirit. Chris details navigating obstacles of alcohol and drug abuse, severe depression, heart break and loss from a long term relationship, being near bankruptcy and just about wanting to “throw in the towel” altogether. The only way out is through. This book gives his personal account of spontaneous Kundalini awakening, which is the physiological mechanism of union of mind, body and Spirit. Through a disciplined approach to wellness, yoga and self-inquiry on such topics relating to Spirit, yoga, culture, society, history, philosophy, psychology, relationships, religion, freedom, genetics, evolution, mathematics, numerology, science, energy, astrology, love, paradise, eternity, consciousness and the universe; Chris established the connection with the subtle body through his energy centers (chakras). His story is there to assist any reader in making the same connection and progressing on the path of spiritual growth and development.

Introducing Diane Dettmann, author of Madison: Cricket of the Valley

“My Author Representative is awesome. I have been fortunate to have her support and expertise that helped me get my recent book, Madison, published as well as several other books that I had published through Outskirts Press. She is an excellent representative.”

Diane Dettmann is the author of the award-winning WWII trilogy Courageous Footsteps. She is also the author of Twenty-Eight Snow Angels: A Widow’s Story of Love, Loss and Renewal and coauthor of Miriam Daughter of Finnish Immigrants. She has also written articles for the national Women’s Voices for Change organization in New York City. Learn more at http://www.outskirtspress.com/madison

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Book description…

A FASCINATING AND ENTERTAINING STORY OF NATURE VERSUS HUMANS. Madison loves spending his evenings roaming the bluff with his camel cricket friends. However, everything changes when Stanley and Edith Grubner move into the house above the crickets’ cave. Madison Cricket of the Valley engages and entertains readers with its themes of acceptance, tolerance and nature versus humans. “A delightful story that will take you back in time and may just have you cheering for the cricket family!” —Colleen Baldrica, author of TREE SPIRITED WOMAN. “I remember first hearing the story of Madison when Diane read parts in my second-grade classroom where I was a student. Stories like this, along with Diane’s wellspring of imagination, have inspired me and countless other former students in our own creative pursuits. I feel deeply satisfied and proud to see Madison’s story join the excellent repertoire of Diane’s creative work.” —John Fournelle, former second grader, class of 1994-1995. “This charming tale takes place in the laid-back time frame of the nineteen sixties and shows how happy little brown crickets learn to live successful lives in the home of two unknowing but accommodating humans. Told in a delightful way, readers cheer for the crickets amid many attempts to destroy them. Good lesson in live and let live.” —Gloria VanDemmeltraadt, author of the Deep Lake Mysteries

Introducing Linzie Melgreen, author of Even Beavers Can Be Heroes

“The first time through the process was quite educational. My Author Representative was a big help.”

Linzie Claire Melgreen is an Arizona State University MS grad, a career social worker, and a blogger. Her blog Zsmisadventures.com publishes a short story every Sunday, showcasing the importance of family, friends, and humor in coping with the whimsical adventures of everyday life. Linzie has had a lifelong interest in storytelling, inspired partly by her great aunt, young-adult fiction writer Ann Rinaldi. Even Beavers Can Be Heroes had its start as a story that eight-year-old Linzie wrote to read to her plush animal “students” when playing “teacher.” When she grew up and began working with neglected and abused children and their foster families, she adapted the story to share a message of camaraderie, love, and the benefits of learning from a foster family. Linzie saw that the children who enter foster care, and even those who find forever homes, usually have little more than a paper bag full of their belongings. With these children in mind, Linzie has decided that for every book sold, one will be donated to a child entering foster care, to give them something that is unequivocally theirs and to encourage their growth within the foster family system.

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Book description…

When a Busy Beaver . . . Isn’t! Eager Beaver is the best builder in his forest community. His friends and family rely on his talent and skill. But one day, Eager doesn’t want to get out of bed . . . and he says he doesn’t know how to build! But there’s an urgent need for a dam on the river, so his wife, Julia Beaver, turns to the community for help. Every animal has a part to play in solving the mystery of why the busiest beaver in the forest suddenly can’t build, as they support the Beaver family. A heartwarming tale of a chosen family, community support, and the unique value of each individual. Even Beavers Can Be Heroes will become a favorite on your bookshelf.

Introducing Carol Creager, author of Why Did I Do Tricks for Luis?

“My Author Representative has been so helpful for all my books. Outskirts Press is great.”

Simón es adorable. No pude resistirlo. Cuando me pidió que escribiera un libro con sus trampas, le prometí hacerlo. Aquí se puede ver el resultado: las fotos y las palabras de Simón. Simon is adorable. I could not resist him. When he begged me to write a book showing his tricks, I promised to do it. Here you can see the result: the photos and words of Simon. Carol Creager

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Book description…

Yo soy un mono araña y vivo en Costa Rica.Cuando vi a Luis Barrantes, que saca fotos para la conocida Carol Creager, yo hice mis trampas para ganar su atención. ¿Qué mejor manera de ganarla? A Luis le gustó tanto que sacó fotos, aunque de veras él prefiere sacar fotos de pájaros. Lo seguí.De esta manera obtuve la atención de Carol para convencerle que me haga héroe de un libro.Así llegué a mi meta. I am a spider monkey and I live in Costa Rica. When I saw Luis Barrantes who takes fotos for the well-known Carol Creager.  I performed my tricks to gain his attention. What better way to get his attention? Luis liked them so much that he took photos because he could not resist, even though he prefers taking photos of birds. I followed him. That way I got Carol’s attention to become the hero of a book. That is how I reached my goal. -Simon, the spider monkey

Introducing Michael Meadows, author of Interlude of the Dragons: The Gods of Olympus – Book II

Michael Meadows is a retired environmental engineer with forty years of experience with air and water pollution control, solid waste management, and hazardous waste site cleanup. He is currently living in Reno, NV with his wife, Cathy. This is the second book of his Gods of Olympus series.

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Book description…

You’re an immortal. What role would you choose to play in ‘the reincarnation game’? The immortal crew of the unique spaceship, Olympus, is faced with two hundred and fifty years of travel before they reach their intended destination of the Oberlin star system. Rather than sleep the centuries away, they have decided to be reincarnated into a sword-and-sorcery world of their own creation: a world filed with adventures, dangers, and magical creatures. For the six duplicated, human personalities, this new world offers the opportunity to fulfill the dreams of their previous mortal lives and to explore the ‘paths not taken’. For the two sentient, AI personalities, it offers their first opportunity to truly experience what life has to offer. Whatever role they select—trader or magician, healer or warrior, teacher or craftsman—the Mother and the Fates gradually draw them back together over the course of their new lives in the Intermountain Valley.

Introducing Cynthia L. Clark, author of Max Goes to Town: Based on a True Story

“I just received the first copies of my children’s book, Max Goes to Town. They are perfect and I’m thrilled. Thank you to Outskirts Press once again for an outstanding product.”

Cynthia L. Clark was born and raised in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains in Boulder County, Colorado where she continues to live on Max’s farm. She is the author of two romance/suspense novels. Max Goes to Town is her first children’s book.

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Book description…

Max, The Determined Family Cat Journeys To Town. Max Goes to Town is the delightful, sweet story of the scruffy, gray cat who amazes his family when he journeys to town. Charmingly written in verse, readers of all ages will delight in Max’s spirit and determination.

Introducing Jack Darrell Crowder, author of We Were Once Warriors: A Story of Courage, War, Love, and Commitment during the American Revolution

“It has been a pleasure to work with Outskirts Press and my Author Representative. She is fast, efficient, and professional.”

Jack Darrell Crowder is a retired teacher and administrator with 40 plus years in the classroom. He has a B.A. and Masters from Texas Christian University. Mr. Crowder gives lectures on the Revolutionary War at the university, schools, historical societies, and D.A.R. Chapters. He has the following books published: Underage Warriors, Chaplains of the Revolutionary War, African Americans and American Indians in the Revolutionary War, Women Patriots in the American Revolution, Strange, Amazing, and Funny Events that Happen during the Revolutionary War, The First 24 Hours of the American Revolution, Abby’s Secret (historical fiction), Massacres: The Dark Side of the American Revolution, Voices from Yorktown: Eyewitness Accounts of the Last Major Battle of the Revolution.

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Book description…

When you make a promise, you must keep it and never give up. In 1778, Sergeant Matthew Scott was discharged from the Continental Army after three years of service. He had endured several battles, been wounded, and suffered at Valley Forge. Matthew is excited about returning home to Virginia to marry his sweetheart. Once he arrives at home, he soon faces events more horrible than what he encountered during the war. They will change his life and the lives of those around him. His commitment and bravery will once again be tested as he searches for meaning to his life.

Introducing Kathie Wennes Taitano, author of Duets with My Daughter: Lessons in Hope, Heartbreak and the Human Spirit

“Thank you for all your efforts on behalf of my book. You have made this process easy for me and I appreciate it.”

Kathie Wennes Taitano has been blessed to work in various settings as an RN, retiring after forty years of service. She has found a renewed love for Hawai’i after seeing it again through Rachael’s eyes, and lives with her family in Kailua.

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Book description…

“I’m never giving up.” Rachael was a vibrant, joyful, compassionate young woman of twenty-three when diagnosed with the stage IV germ cell cancer that would ultimately take her life. From the moment she understood her diagnosis, then navigated through difficult treatment options and heartbreaking setbacks, her sense of hope, determination and courage never wavered. Rachael believed with all her heart that she would be a survivor. Her support network included beloved friends, family, co-workers and neighbors, who organized fund raisers, donated travel miles, and most importantly, provided an outpouring of boundless love, humor and encouragement. I once said to Rachael that I would have given anything to trade places with her, to be the one with cancer. Without hesitation, she calmly replied, “I wouldn’t have let you.” Because Rachael loved life and was deeply grateful for her time on the planet, we are reminded that in living our own best life, we honor hers. She would not have it any other way.

Introducing Nancy L. Regas, author of The Art of Being a School Counselor

The one on one with my Author Representative was great. Her guidance helped turn my dream into a reality and sometimes it is still hard to believe until I look at my book. Thank you.”

Nancy L. Regas spent twenty-two years counseling in public schools: first as a resource coordinator, next as a life skills counselor, and finally, the majority of her time [eighteen years] as a high school counselor. Nancy followed that by becoming a regional representative for an out-of-state private liberal arts college. She advised both public and private schools in three counties for three years. She resides with her husband of forty-seven years and has two adult daughters and two granddaughters.”

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Book description…

Are you thinking about school counseling as a profession or just starting as a school counselor? Okay, maybe you’re already an established school counselor; congratulations! However, are you feeling stuck, lost, or frustrated in your present position? If you answer yes to either question, this book is definitely for you. Enjoy your journey towards a personal and professional reawakening! 
HINT: If you are an administrator, this book will help you understand the role of a counselor; correctly utilizing your counseling staff will increase the effectiveness of your school. If you are a teacher, this book will help you comprehend the multiple roles of counselors and guide you in working collaboratively with them. Enjoy your journey towards becoming the best educator possible! Finally, parents, you can use this book too! It will help you understand what it takes for your son/daughter [in middle school or high school] to be a successful student. When you grasp that, your guidance will become more impactful.