Links Roundup, Week of 6/19

Happy First Week of Summer! The 21st was the summer solstice, and now it’s official!

What publishing compromises are you making? [Booklife]

New book focuses on the people of Yellowstone National Park. [Wyoming Public Media]

A press release or a pitch? You need both! [Jane Friedman]

Pamela Paul on her new book – My Life with Bob. [Lit Hub]

My new book – Do You Know What a Publicist Does – came out this month and is available for sale on Amazon! [Amazon]

Press Release: Nothing but a Circus



Misadventures among the Powerful

By Daniel Levin

“Brilliant observations on the anthropology of power.

You will laugh aloud and won’t put it down”

Daniel Kahneman

The majestic architecture that lines the streets of capital cities around the world reflects a level of power and prestige that is an enigma to some and intimidating to others.  Most of what is observed of our leaders is on the two-dimensional screens on our devices, causing these people who are responsible for solving some of the world’s biggest problems to appear untouchable, far removed from ordinary people and the nations they lead.  Once the powerful take the helm, society can only hope that they are doing the job that’s expected of them, and dong it well with a conscience and dedication.

Daniel Levin, international lawyer and advisor to governments and development institutions worldwide, has had unique access to high-level leaders around the globe.  He is called upon to listen, assess, and offer solutions to mediate disputes, help failing or failed states, and develop future leaders among the next generation of hopeful aspirants by providing advice and insights to presidents, governments, parliaments, and diplomats.  After twenty years of boarding planes with few days’ notice – sometimes even planes without doors when required – Levin has written down some of his most remarkable and grotesque encounters in the halls of power.  His book NOTHING BUT A CIRCUS: Misadventures among the Powerful (Allen Lane/Penguin; July 6, 2017; Hardcover; $27.95) is shocking, eye-opening, and at times hilarious, as he portrays his real-life characters in their all-too human imperfections and vanities.

Levin felt compelled to record his first-hand experiences in NOTHING BUT A CIRCUS based on detailed diary entries over the past two decades, giving the reader a rare glimpse of the actions and conversations that take place behind closed doors – from Moscow’s puppeteering skills and manipulation of the West (sound familiar?) leading up to the Ukrainian conflict, Beijing’s power plays for Africa, Washington-style corruption and hubris, ridiculously misguided development initiatives in Angola, arrogance and ineptitude at the United Nations, to a hair-raising, hilarious adventure in a Senegalese airport prison.

With a generous sense of humor, also at his own expense when recounting his missteps and occasional naïveté, Levin holds nothing back. The dialogues allow the reader to relive these terrific scenes real-time and to witness how powerful people behave when they think (or, rather, believe – as very little thinking tends to be involved) no one is watching, and the extraordinary contortions they perform in justifying their unscrupulous and self-serving actions.

For more information and to schedule interviews please contact Claire McKinney Public Relations at (908) 955-7563 or

About the Author

Daniel Levin has spent the last twenty years working with governments and development institutions worldwide.  A lawyer by profession, he is an advisor on political and economic affairs, from financial development to conflict resolution.  He is currently a member of the board of the Liechtenstein Foundation for State Governance.  Nothing but a Circus is his first book.


Misadventures among the Powerful

by Daniel Levin

Allen Lane/Penguin

Publication Date: July 6, 2017

ISBN:  978-0241288535


Price: $27.95 Hardcover; $17.99 Digital

Pages: 208 pages

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Press Release: How to Build a Piano Bench

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                    


L e s s o n s  f r o m  a  R e d – D i r t  R o a d  i n

A l a b a m a

B y  R u t h i  P o s t o w  B i r c h

 “Thirteen East Petain Street, Prichard, Alabama—that’s an important address for me. It’s where I learned every­thing I needed to know to succeed in life and in business—lessons passed on to me by the people who lived in this neighborhood that straddled the poverty line. I learned I’d have to be independent enough to do things for myself. I would have to be brave enough to take on things I’d never done before and didn’t know how to do— and would have to figure out as I went along. Not knowing how to do something never stopped my daddy from doing it. He didn’t know how to build a piano bench till mine broke.”


“Don’t follow the crowd until you are sure you want to be where they’re going.”


Ruthi Postow Birch grew up on a red-dirt road in south Alabama without any idea of what she would become in this world. When her father built her a new piano bench, not knowing a thing about how to do it, he passed on an important lesson.

“There is always just one right next step—and you know it because it’s the only one that makes sense. Find that and do it. Then look for the next. If there is something you can’t do, figure out who can do it for you.”

Ruthi took that advice from Petain Street all the way to an office on K Street in Washington D.C., where she built her own successful staffing firm from the ground up. In a new book HOW TO BUILD A PIANO BENCH: Lessons from a Red-Dirt Road in Alabama (2017, River Grove Books, $16.95, ISBN 9781632991089), she chronicles her engaging and humorous journey, noting important tokens of wisdom she captured along the way.

Like most parents, Ruthi’s did what they could to provide everything she needed and to support her interests as a child. Still, Ruthi was uncomfortable in social situations and found that listening to other people’s stories can be more important than telling her own. From her childhood visits with her elderly neighbors on Petain Street, to her professors as a college student at the University of Georgia, Ruthi was an attentive and discerning audi­ence—who remembered almost everything they told her.

Ruthi spent a considerable amount of time alone as a child, which may have contributed to some feelings of anxiety in group situations. In HOW TO BUILD A PIANO BENCH, she is completely candid about her social life in high school and college (or lack thereof) and admits to having had more first dates than seconds. In Ruthi’s world, most clouds had a silver lining that only added to her determination to make her personal dreams come true.

Whenever she was faced with a problem, she would forge onward and dig through to the solution. When she was in college and found that she couldn’t “learn” the way other students did and pass her exams, she created a plan that included writing down every last thing a professor said and adhering to a strict study schedule. When she had three children who she missed so much while at work, she made a steadfast routine that included an early start in the morning, a strict end time at work of 5:00P.M., two full hours with her kids at night, and more time to work before getting a few hours of sleep so she could hit the next day running in the same pattern.

Resourceful, tenacious, self-deprecating, and funny, Ruthi Postow has a wonderful story to tell with colorful characters and a rich life of listening and learning her way to success. Some people might classify HOW TO BUILD A PIANO BENCH as a rags-to-riches story, but from Ruthi’s perspective she was wealthy way back when, just from growing up in her tight-knit community

“Whatever you’ve got can go. In the end, all you’ve got is your character,” said her parents. Her book is a testament to the strength of strong values, a work ethic, and a lifetime of making dreams come true.

How to Build a Piano Bench | Lessons from a Red-Dirt Road in Alabama | By Ruthi Postow Birch | River Grove Books | 2017 | ISBN 978163991089 | Paperback | Price $16.95 | 264 Pages



Press Release: she-ology




By Sherry A. Ross, M.D.

Foreword by Reese Witherspoon

For over 50 years, there has been a flood of women taking control over their circumstances: asking for raises that match a man’s income; demanding respect in the workplace and at home; and becoming sexually confident and unapologetic. Even so, award-winning OBG-YN and women’s health advocate Dr. Sheryl A. Ross—affectionately known as Dr. Sherry to her patients—finds that women are still very much disconnected and misunderstanding of the physical thing that makes them women: their vaginas.

The vagina is part of the cycle of women’s lives, so why not embrace and talk about it? Dr. Sherry believes it is time for the “Vagina Revolution”—dismantling misconceptions about sex and the vagina and embracing it in all its shapes, sizes, sexual orientations, and ages.  Her new book she-ology: The Definitive Guide to Women’s Intimate Health. Period. shines a light on the vagina, answering women’s most uncomfortable questions with the goal of healthier and happier vaginas for all women—from pre-teens to senior adults.

Having grown up with Our Bodies, Ourselves, Dr. Sherry felt that while the book is extremely helpful, it doesn’t dive into the most sensitive issues of women’s health. With expertise and humor, she-ology addresses every urgent, confounding, culturally taboo, and challenging question women have about vaginas. In a friendly and informative voice, Dr. Sherry breaks down topics like periods, postpartum, and menopause in the form of chapters like “Adventurous V,” “Divorced V,” “Hormonal V,” and many more. In the beginning of each chapter, celebrities like Reese Witherspoon, Brooke Shields, Christina Applegate, and Jane Seymour share their vagina experiences to help further the dialogue that it’s okay to ask questions and have a relationship with your most intimate self.

In she-ology, Dr. Sherry answers many common questions that women are too bashful to ask, including:

  • What age should I start going to the gynecologist, and what will happen on my first visit? When will I start getting pap smears and mammograms?
  • What does “safe sex” even mean?
  • Is there such thing as a “perfect” vagina?
  • Can I get HPV (or other STI’s) if I don’t have actual sexual intercourse?
  • Since the vagina is self-cleaning, do I even need soap?
  • If I and my partner enjoy swinging or S&M, does that make me a pervert?
  • How can I be depressed after giving birth if I’ve always wanted to have a baby?
  • If I have never had an orgasm, is there something wrong with me?
  • What could possibly go wrong down there, and what can I do about it?
  • Do the same gynecological health and medical needs apply to lesbian, bisexual, and transgender vaginas as they do to heterosexual ones?
  • Celebrities are having babies in their late 40’s and 50’s—does that mean that I can have a baby later in age too?
  • My PMS symptoms are extreme—what does that mean and what can I do to prevent it?
  • I am receiving cancer treatment and one of the side effects is loss of sexual desire. What can I do to regain a healthy sexual relationship with my partner?

With knowledge that can only come from 25 years of experience in obstetrics and gynecology and the approachable voice of your best girlfriend, Dr. Sherry and she-ology will help women form, mend, and strengthen their relationships with the most commanding and complex of female organs.

About the Author

Sheryl A. Ross, M.D., “Dr. Sherry,” is an award-winning OB-GYN, entrepreneur, author, and women’s health expert, and has been a practicing OB-GYN for 25 years in Santa Monica, California. The Hollywood Reporter named her as one of the best doctors in Los Angeles; Castle Connolly named her as a Top Doctor and Exceptional Women in the specialty of Obstetrics & Gynecology; and she was selected as a 2017 Southern California Super Doctor. She recently received a Patients’ Choice Award for Compassionate Doctor Recognition and was named as a Top 10 Obstetrics and Gynecologist. She received her doctorate in medicine from New York Medical College and completed her OB-GYN residency at the University of Southern California, School of Medicine. Dr. Sherry co-founded  Cycl, the first of its kind wellness brand for women by women based on her ground-breaking 7 Cycls™ approach that tracks the 7 distinct and individualized cycles women experience in their lives. She lives in Los Angeles with her wife and three sons.


The Definitive Guide to Women’s Health. Period.

Dr. Sheryl A. Ross, M.D.

Savio Republic

Published April 2017

ISBN 9781682612408


$26.00 / $9.99

320 Pages


Press Release: Lowcountry Bonfire

“Boyer delivers a beach read filled with quirky, endearing characters and
a masterfully layered mystery, all set in the lush lowcountry.”

Mary Alice Monroe, New York Times bestselling author on Lowcountry Book Club

“The authentically Southern Boyer writes with heart, insight, and
a deep understanding of human nature.”

Hank Phillippi Ryan, Agatha Award-Winning Author of What You See


A Liz Talbot Mystery
by Susan M. Boyer

When Tammy Sue Lyerly sets her husband’s prized antique car on fire after Private Investigators Liz Talbot and Nate Andrews show her photos of his unfaithfulness, it’s no surprise that she is the police’s prime suspect when Zeke Lyerly turns up dead by poison. In LOWCOUNTRY BONFIRE: A Liz Talbot Mystery (Henery Press, Original Trade Paperback, July 2017), it’s up to Liz and Nate to track down Zeke’s murderer in the small town and island of Stella Maris, South Carolina before it’s too late.

“Whoever did this is a stone-cold killer. I hope they make our job easy by leaving town in a hurry.”

Married couple and businesses partners, Liz and Nate are contracted by Tammy Sue and Liz’s police chief brother, Blake Talbot, to investigate Zeke’s murder and find the culprit before Tammy Sue is arrested. Meanwhile, Tammy Sue might as well be under house arrest as she stays holed up in the home of Liz’s parents, Frank and Carolyn Talbot. Liz can’t understand why anyone would kill someone as friendly and popular as Zeke—unless they have the jealous intentions of a spurned wife or a passionate mistress.

There’s also the fact that Zeke loved to tell tall tales—but could some of them be true? As Liz digs further into the case, she realizes that there is more to Zeke than meets the eye when she and Nate uncover a large sum of money and guns in the Lyerly’s home. The plot thickens when Tammy’s attorney Robert Pearson gives Tammy a letter written by Zeke years ago—which leads them to some shocking items located a safety deposit box.

Who was Zeke Lyerly before he married Tammy Sue, and who would want to kill him? One thing is certain: Liz needs to focus on the night of Skip and Margie Robinson’s bonfire, where Zeke’s affair started with Crystal, a masseuse he met at the party. Liz and Nate must work their way through the guest list from the bonfire to uncover the clues to Zeke’s murder.  In a small town where everyone is friends, their suspect list is large, including: Crystal, whose affair with Zeke had been going on for months; April Fox, his ex-wife who lives in Charleston; Humphrey Pearson, who is rumored to be a little too sweet on Tammy Sue; and Price Elliott, Zeke’s lazy employee who was on the verge of being fired from his auto repair shop.

“I love living in a small town, truly. But some days it complicated things.”

As Liz travels up and down Stella Maris and Charleston to interview the people who were at the bonfire, some surprising figures from Zeke’s younger days make her question the truth of Zeke Lyerly’s tall tales, relationships, and tumultuous past.

Balancing Southern charm with a small town scandal, LOWCOUNTRY BONFIRE is Susan M. Boyer’s most complex mystery yet as Liz and Nate race to reveal long-buried secrets to keep Tammy Sue Lyerly out of jail and the case from going up in flames.

About Susan M. Boyer: 

Susan M. Boyer is the USA Today-bestselling author of Lowcountry Boil, Lowcountry Bombshell, and Lowcountry Boneyard. She has received various awards for her series, including the Agatha Award for Best First Novel; the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense; and the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance Okra Pick for Spring 2015 and Summer 2016. Lowcountry Boneyard was shortlisted for the 2016 Pat Conroy Beach Music Mystery Prize and a Finalist for the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mainstream Mystery/Suspense. Her 2016 novel Lowcountry Book Club is a finalist for the Southern Book Prize.

Susan loves beaches, Southern food, and small towns. She lives in Greenville, SC with her husband. LOWCOUNTRY BONFIRE is the sixth book in the Liz Talbot Mystery series. Visit her at

About Henery Press:

Henery Press an independent publisher in the mystery and suspense genre focused on engaging stories with sharp twists and lively characters. To learn more about Henery Press, please visit

LOWCOUNTRY BONFIRE | A Liz Talbot Mystery | By Susan M. Boyer

Henery Press | Publication Date: June 27th, 2017 | ISBN: 9781635112276

Original Trade Paperback & E-book | Price: $15.95 / $6.99 | 244 pages