Archive for February, 2013

Baby Boomers See Themselves In Southern Vapors


Atlanta, Georgia – Wry, poignant, witty and right on target, Southern Vapors by Lynn Garson (CreateSpace) pulls no punches when it comes to growing up in the privileged South. There are glimpses of her early life as an heiress-in-waiting, the big white house like Tara, travels on a grand scale and glamour at home. But an essential familial warmth was missing.  So we get an insider’s view of the price tag of privilege: the constant requirement to maintain the right image at all costs and the misery that came with it.

 After a lifetime of struggle, Lynn found her lowest points as a patient in not one but three different mental hospitals. Her reflections on that time make it clear that in the face of it all, Lynn maintained her dry sense of humor: “I used to think I was unbearably unique,” she says. “Later I came to understand that I was the quintessential Baby Boomer….by the time I thought it, felt it, ate it, smoked it, drank it or wrote about it, most of my generation had either already done the same or were right there with me.” In Southern Vapors, you’ll enjoy the journey, whether you’re laughing out loud or reduced to tears. “For my part, knowing I’m not alone is very cheering,” she concludes. “So I have gladly traded in my perceived uniqueness for a seat in the row next to the rest of you.”

Lynn Garson graduated from Tulane University and has lived around the world. She has three children and currently lives in Atlanta. A popular motivational speaker, she has something memorable to contribute on topics including depression, eating disorders and/or addiction, family issues, and more. Southern Vapors is her first book and is currently being adapted for the stage. For more information on this remarkable new talent, please visit: Trish Stevens

Jillian M. Sachtleben
Ascot Media Group, Inc.
Office: (281) 333-3507


Acclaimed Author Addresses Controversial ‘Stand Your Ground Law’ in A Cry For Justice


Ellaville, GA – Jackie Carpenter always considered herself an ordinary person – a mom, wife, businessperson. She never dreamed her life would become an award-winning feature film,  A Cry for Justice (Triple Horse Studios). But when her life took a dramatic turn, she began to discover just how much adversity she could withstand. It all began with the insistent shrilling tone of a late-night phone call. Her son had been arrested and faced charges of murder. A capital crime in Georgia, it can carry the ultimate penalty: death by lethal injection.

He had been plagued by thefts on a home construction site. The security service he hired could not start immediately;  on the advice of a police officer, her son set out with a gun to watch for the culprits one night. The would-be thieves showed up, and the gun fired unexpectedly. One of the thieves was fatally shot, and Jackie Carpenter’s son was arrested and jailed.

It seemed such an obvious miscarriage of justice: her son was only protecting his property, the gun discharged by accident. The defense relied on a now-controversial law, often known as the ‘stand your ground law.’ They maintained that their client had every right to defend his property. The prosecutor argued with equal passion that he was a cold-blooded murderer.

The movie and the books it is based on are a white-knuckled, fast-paced chronicle of a woman’s struggle to keep her family whole. A Cry for Justice is based on Jackie Carpenter’s two books: The Bridge: Between Cell Block A and a Miracle is Psalm 91 and Georgia Justice: A Journey to Faith. Watch the movie trailer at: .


Trish Stevens

Jillian M. Sachtleben
Ascot Media Group, Inc.
Office: (281) 333-3507


Prominent Surgeon Barely Escapes Electrocution While Performing Surgery


Boca Raton, FL – We all have problems in life; but imagine, after years of hard work and study to become a prominent surgeon, something goes horribly wrong in the operating room and, in an instant, your life is forever changed. It’s normally the patient that’s at risk of a complication in the operating room, not the doctor. However, one day as Emile Allen, M.D. was operating to save a woman’s life, he barely escaped being electrocuted and nearly died. He remembered hearing a voice telling him: “I’m not ready for you yet. You have more work to do.” He had no way of knowing the challenges he would face or how many times he would hear those words…

Dr. Allen had suffered a brain injury and, in a split second, went from performing intricate surgical procedures to struggling just to do simple things such as counting change at the grocery store or reading a book. The event not only changed his career but also his identity and capabilities. At the time, he didn’t understand how significant the impact of this incident would be for the rest of his life.

Eaten By The Tiger: Surrendering to an Empowered Life, by Emile Allen, M.D., is a collection of stories and insights acquired through his personal experiences as a surgeon, son and patient that helped get him through the paralysis of emotional and physical loss. He had ridden the gamut of emotions from shock and denial to full-blown depression. While learning to meditate on vacation in Fiji, he heard ‘the words’ again and was transcended to such a peaceful state of mind that his perception of the rest of the world was heightened. He had truly found the meaning of being “Eaten By The Tiger.”

For anyone who has experienced a recent loss or might be struggling with life’s daily challenges, Dr. Allen’s personal journey will undoubtedly inspire you to find your own insights. Regardless of the reason, you will be able to relate to something in his compelling story because it will touch some aspect of your life.

Dr. Allen’s fascinating inside stories of life as a surgeon, life lessons learned from his frustration with the healthcare industry, and his own personal experiences as a patient all exhibit a compassion for others that blends perfectly with his dry wit and grabs the reader’s attention from the first page. In sharing the extraordinary roller coaster ride of emotions during his long recovery that prompted his journey of self-discovery, readers may laugh or cry, but they will all be moved and inspired to overcome their own obstacles and succeed at finding their own purpose in life.

Dr. Allen is a graduate of Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago. He completed his general surgery internship and urology residency at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics. He is the former Chairman of Urology and Vice Chairman of Surgery at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, CA.  As a retired urologist, Dr. Allen has turned his passion for helping others into inspirational speaking and writing, touching more lives than he ever could have as a surgeon.

Eaten By The Tiger is both motivating and empowering. In candidly sharing all he experienced, from his darkest moments to his utmost joy, Dr. Allen helps readers see that how we deal with life’s challenges determines the outcome of our lives. For more information, please visit:


Trish Stevens

Jillian M. Sachtleben
Ascot Media Group, Inc.
Office: (281) 333-3507


The Karma Chow Ultimate Cookbook: Simple Steps To A Healthier, More Sculpted Body


Deerfield Beach, FL – Karma Chow Creator and celebrity chef, Melissa Costello, introduces her new cookbook, The Karma Chow Ultimate Cookbook: 125+ Plant-Based Vegan Recipes for a Fit, Happy, Healthy You (HCI Books) – proof that planet-friendly fare is totally delicious as well as better for you. The over 7 million vegetarians and 3 million vegans in the U.S. already know this is what keeps them healthy and looking great! As the personal chef to celebrity fitness guru Tony Horton, creator of the bestselling P90X® fitness system, and many others, Melissa strives to keep the food appealing and all of her clients fit, happy and energized.

Melissa’s book offers a smorgasbord of simple but tasty dairy- and animal- free appetizers, breakfasts, dinners, and specialty menus that range from Mac & Cheeze, Karma Burgers, Lettuce Wraps, Soups, Tacos and Casseroles, to die-for desserts like Strawberry Crème Mousse with Pistachio Nut Topping, Carob Bread Pudding, Apple and Pear Crisp, Brownie Bites, and Tony’s own favorite – Cardamom Chocolate Chippers. Is your mouth watering yet?

The Karma Chow Ultimate Cookbook makes healthy eating fun and provides the body with the fuel it needs to rock a workout and get that sculpted sought-after physique! For more information, please visit:  

About the Author:

Melissa Costello, founder of Karma Chow and creator of The Vital Life Cleanse, is the personal chef to celebrity fitness guru Tony Horton, creator of the highly popular workout system, P90X®. Melissa, a certified nutritionist and wellness coach, works one-on-one with clients as well as leads thirty-day food-based cleanses with large groups, teaching them how to implement changes in their diet that will last a lifetime. Melissa was featured on TV Guide’s Secrets of the Hollywood Body as well as CNBC’s How I Made My Millions with Tony Horton.

Sample Recipes:

Black Bean Brownie Bites

Brownies are everyone’s favorite, so I wanted to come up with a healthier version that was just as tasty. These bites are loaded with fiber yet still maintain the chocolatey-goodness of a regular brownie! Your kids will love them too!

I make them in a mini-muffin pan, but feel free to use an 8×8 brownie pan. Just adjust the cooking time to longer in the oven by about 10 minutes.

2 cups black beans (freshly cooked is best, but canned is ok- drain & rinse if canned)
1 ripe banana
1/3 cup of raw blue agave nectar or Grade B maple syrup
½ cup date paste* (see recipe below) *allow 1 hour soaking time for date paste
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
½ cup raw cacao powder
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ cup oat or almond flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup grain sweetened or vegan chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Grease mini muffin tins with coconut oil or coconut spray.

In a food processor with S-blade, combine black beans, banana, agave nectar, date paste, coconut oil, cacao powder, vanilla, cinnamon & sea salt until combined well and smooth. Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Fill mini muffin tins about 2/3 full and bake 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool in pan for 10 minutes and transfer to a wire rack.

To make Date Paste: Pour 2/3 cup of hot water over 1 cup pitted dates and then soak for about an hour. Throw all ingredients into a blender and process until a smooth, thick paste is formed.

Yield: Makes about 30 mini muffins

Dreamy Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

I love the fall because squash is in season, and butternut is one of my faves! This soup is so good you will want to eat the whole pot —that’s why I termed it “dreamy.” Top with some lightly toasted pumpkin seeds right before serving for presentation, crunch, and a little extra calcium and magnesium.

6-8 servings

1 large butternut squash, roasted (this can be done a day before serving)
2 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil
1 large shallot, diced small
½ large yellow sweet onion, diced
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 large garnet yam or sweet potato, peeled and cubed
2 stalks celery, diced
5 carrots, peeled and chopped
½ teaspoon cumin powder
4 cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons agave nectar or maple syrup
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
Pinch of cloves
1½ cups unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk
Toasted pumpkin seeds (for garnish)

Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cut squash in half lengthwise. Line a baking dish or cookie sheet with parchment paper and lightly coat with cooking spray (olive oil or coconut). Place the squash cut side down on the baking dish or sheet and poke holes in it with a sharp knife or fork, then spray squash with cooking spray. Bake for about 45-minutes or until the squash can be easily pierced with a fork. Take out of the oven and let it cool.

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the shallot, onion, and ginger, and sauté for about 3 minutes until soft and translucent. Add the yam, celery, and carrots. Sauté for a few minutes and then add the cumin powder, stirring to incorporate. Add the broth. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.

While the soup is cooking, remove the seeds from the squash and discard. Scoop out the flesh from the skin and add to the pot, stirring to incorporate the squash with the other vegetables. Add a bit more broth if necessary. Cook for about 5 more minutes, then remove from the heat and add the agave nectar, salt and pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and the almond milk. Puree the soup using a hand blender or in batches in a regular blender. Serve garnished with toasted pumpkin seeds.

Did You Know? Maple syrup is chock-full of vitamins and minerals. Make sure to buy grade B, which is the most nutritious and least processed. It’s a low-glycemic sweetener, so it won’t spike your blood sugar as fast as some other sweeteners.

Per Serving: Calories 170, Total Fat 4.5g, Saturated Fat 0.5g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 260mg, Carbohydrate 32g, Fiber 5g, Protein 3g

Trish Stevens

Jillian M. Sachtleben
Ascot Media Group, Inc.
Office: (281) 333-3507


A Song For Bijou: The Fight for True Love In A Multicultural Society


New York, NY – Published three years after Haiti’s catastrophic earthquake, an event that plays a pivotal role in Josh Farrar’s latest book, A Song for Bijou (Walker Books/Bloomsbury) is a touching, inspiring chronicle of young love in the multicultural setting of a contemporary middle school. Minus today’s reality-show hype, this effervescent story acts as an excellent tool for parents and teachers alike to help kids determine right from wrong as they come of age in our diverse, increasingly complex society.

Josh Farrar has written a story of middle-school first crushes in which a white boy from Brooklyn and a Haitian girl who has recently survived that country’s devastating earthquake struggle mightily to spend time together in a social environment that seems determined to keep them apart. Despite the seriousness of its themes, the book is a fun, breezy read punctuated by scenes of celebratory music and dancing. A Song for Bijou heartwarmingly depicts the efforts of a multicultural group of friends in Brooklyn, New York to understand the mysteries of the opposite sex, and the complexities of the world they live in. Told in alternating viewpoints against the vibrant backdrop of Haitian-American culture, the author’s lead characters, Alex Schrader and Bijou Doucet, take their first tender steps toward love in this affecting story.

Life for Alex has never involved girls. Attending an all-boys prep school, most of his time is spent clowning around with his friends. But that all changes the first time he sets eyes on Bijou, a beautiful Haitian girl who relocated to Brooklyn after the earthquake, and he is determined to win her heart. Bijou, on the other hand, is surprised daily by how different life is in America. After Alex asks her out, he quickly learns there are rules when it comes to girls, both in Haitian culture and with his own friends. And Bijou discovers she doesn’t have to let go of her roots to find joy in her new life.  

A Song for Bijou is a realistic depiction of a group of regular, good kids negotiating the complex business of growing up. The second novel by author Josh Farrar, it has been praised as an “…enjoyable, seriocomic tale of new love, culture clash, adolescent social stratification and friendship…a solid, timely effort,” by Kirkus Reviews. Farrar’s first book, Rules to Rock By, was called by School Library Journal a “spirited, never-say-die story about a girl and her dream…Farrar’s first novel hits home about tween life, especially among the creative set, and for anyone who has ever been bullied.”

Surviving puberty has never been easy, but the infringement of technology––YouTube, Twitter, and a phone in the hand of nearly every child – has made the navigation of adolescence positively baffling. Devoid of sex, drugs, or profanity, Farrar’s new book is a welcome breath of fresh air: a moving tale of friendships, first love, and the issues of growing up in a different culture.

Josh Farrar understands kids. Whether writing fiction or designing educational software for companies such as LeapFrog and Scholastic, his goal is to give children the tools to become better readers, and maybe, better people.

Music plays a prominent role in Farrar’s books. The author has played in bands, composed music for plays and films and, when he’s not reading or writing, he can usually be found with a stringed instrument in his hands. He is a strong believer in the combined power of literature and music to powerfully affect children’s lives, and promotional events for A Song for Bijou will feature performances by a cast of West Indian musicians. A graduate of Wesleyan University, Josh lives with his family in Brooklyn, New York.

For more information on this talented writer, please visit:

Available at fine bookstores, online or at author’s website
A Song for Bijou by Josh Farrar
Publisher: Walker Books
ISBN-10: 0802733948
ISBN-13: 978-0802733948
Release Date: February 12, 2013


Trish Stevens

Jillian M. Sachtleben
Ascot Media Group, Inc.
Office: (281) 333-3507