Author Vanderbilt Brabson III is Today’s Honoree

Why do drug and alcohol abuse seem to follow success in sports? Is it the pressure, the big money, or loneliness at the top? Is it an attempt to fill a void in one’s life?

Some people are born with more talent and gifts than most—like Anthony Morgan, the main character in Van Brabson’s new book, Beyond the Lies. For them the future couldn’t look brighter. Others are born into this world struggling for breath—life for them  continues to be a constant struggle and an uncertain future. The common denominator for both is the realization, at some point, that no matter how successful or unsuccessful he or she is, there is an inescapable void deep within each that begs to be filled, a soul that longs to be known—truly known.

Such was the case of baseball up-and-comer Anthony “Missile” Morgan. While at the top of his game his alcohol abuse started with the loss of his beloved father, Anthony’s hero and mentor, and this loss put both his life and career in serious jeopardy.

About the same time, Jesse Cartwright, Anthony’s best childhood friend, was struggling with her own demons. She wanted to make something of her life, but circumstances erected one barrier after another in her path to move forward. Soon their paths grew apart and the emptiness in each of their lives deepened. Could they ever rekindle the relationship they once had? Or would something or someone else fill the deepening void?

“Emptiness is to the soul what pain is to the body. It tells us something is wrong. Beyond the Lies is a story about finding true fulfillment in the God alone who can give it and two hearts becoming one as they realize that life will never reach its fullest potential without
experiencing it with one’s true soul mate,” says the author.

Vanderbilt Brabson III was born in Knoxville, TN, and graduated from the University of Tennessee.  A conference speaker and writer, Vanderbilt is one of the featured writers in Ordinary People magazine. Beyond the Lies is the second of three books he is presently releasing for publication. The first is entitled, The Gatekeeper, and the third is schedule to be released this Spring. A widower, Vanderbilt resides in Tennessee near two of his four children.

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Asperger Advocate and Author Erin Clemens is Today’s Honoree

Erin Clemens is on the autism spectrum and is a part of the Devereux Pennsylvania Community Adult Autism Partnership Program (CAAPP), which provides individualized and innovative community-based support services for adults with autism spectrum disorders and other disabilities.

“Without Devereux, I’d still be living at home with my parents,” Clemens shared. “Devereux has helped me to not only live independently, but also begin to thrive. Staff members sat with me for countless hours in college classes, helped me fill out forms, and spoke with professors and other people from the college. I think the biggest thing they have done is that they have helped me become more of who I really want to be.”
Learn about Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health.

Clemens, who was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome when she was 15 and receives services through Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Pennsylvania, studied early childhood education at DCCC, and graduated in May with a Child Development Associate, Certificate of Competency.

Clemens, who volunteers at the Brandywine Valley SPCA, hopes to transfer the skills she learned at DCCC into a career working with animals.

“I really love working with dogs, so I plan to spend more time volunteering and studying dog training,” Clemens explained. “Eventually, I hope to help train service dogs for people like me on the autism spectrum. That way, I will not only be working with dogs, but I would be helping people, too.”

About Erin:

Erin Clemens is a woman on the autism spectrum. When she is not in school or working, she likes to spend her time volunteering and watching “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” She is also the author of the book “I Have Asperger’s.” For more information on Erin, visit her website at You can also find her on Instagram, Twitter @AspergerSadie and Facebook


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Author Ann Marie Sabath is Today’s Honoree

Everyone has to start somewhere and Ann Marie Sabath understands that while many people have an idea for a great story, oftentimes they have no clue where to begin. She simplifies the process in her new book, Everybody Has A Book Inside Of Them: How To Bring It Out, with expert advice to help budding authors overcome the common stumbling blocks and gain the confidence and motivation to finally get their books written!

So what skills have highly productive authors mastered that enable them to put words on paper so efficiently? In her new book, Sabath and her army of 15 colleagues share valuable insights, easy-to-follow guidelines and simple advice that can be put into practice immediately to help budding writers tap into the ideas inside them and translate those concepts into published works.

Between the covers of Everybody Has A Book Inside Of Them, Sabath expertly tackles 49 topics that cover every aspect of the writing process, including:

•    How long does it take to write a book?
•    Why knowing your reader is a must before you begin
•    Why to stop writing while you are ahead
•    What seasoned authors would tell their younger selves
•    How bestselling authors structure their books

Infused with honesty, Sabath’s sense of humor and words of encouragement, Everybody Has A Book Inside Of Them will help readers get their writing engines revved, overcome common excuses and obstacles, and make the process of authoring a book easier than expected.

Ann Marie Sabath is the founder of At Ease Inc., a 32-year-old business consulting firm. In addition to Everybody Has A Book Inside Of Them, she has written nine other books that have been translated into eight languages. Her last book, What Self-Made Millionaires Do That Most People Don’t became the Spring 2018 Top Selling Business Book for Career Press. Sabath’s books have been recognized by USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Entrepreneur, Inc., Condé Naste Traveler, CNN, CNBC, 20/20 and Oprah.

For more information, please visit, or follow her on Facebook (Ann Marie Sabath), Twitter (@AnnMarieSabath) or Instagram (ann_marie_sabath).

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Author Becca Anderson is Today’s Honoree

“Becca Anderson’s book is one I will turn to on a daily basis. I sometimes use it in my morning prayers and find it boosts my entire day in a wonderfully positive direction. To master the art of being a gratitude practitioner, you have to take time for gratitude every day; that works for me and it will work for you. You’ll be glad and oh-so-thankful you did.”

―Daniel Schmidt, author of Miracles of Mindfulness

As it turns out, Buddha had quite a lot to say on the subject of gratitude, including citing it as one of the four keys to the Gate of Heaven. Why is this? Perhaps the sheer simplicity of gratefulness is a key, as it is available to all of us at any time. Even in the midst of over-busyness, stress, and chaos, we can find plenty to be glad about, and The Buddha’s Guide to Gratitude will start your journey towards Zen and gratefulness.

According to Buddha, “You have no cause for anything but gratitude and joy.” Being thankful is one of the most powerful tools we humans have to attain peace of mind and happiness. Take time each day and count your blessings. This can be done with a prayer or mindfulness mediation, whichever works for you. This lovely, uncomplicated approach featured in The Buddha’s Guide to Gratitude could be life-changing.

Studies show―and experts counsel―that gratitude is a key component of our happiness. People who are grateful about events and experiences from the past, who celebrate triumphs instead of focusing on losses or disappointments, tend to be more satisfied. Gratitude can help us transform our fears into courage, our anger into forgiveness, our isolation into belonging, and another’s pain into healing. Follow the advice of Buddhist leader Thich Nhat Hanh, “With all I have experienced in my own life, the power of gratitude stands above everything else. In your mindfulness practice, use gratitude until it becomes your way of life.” The Buddha’s Guide to Gratitude will show you the way.

Inside The Buddha’s Guide to Gratitude, we have provided you with positive thinking “power tools” that will help you build a more grateful life, including:

  • Mindful meditations
  • Hands-on exercises
  • Profound practices
  • Inspiring quotations
  • Space for notetaking and journaling
  • Thought-provoking questions

Becca Anderson is a writer, gardener and teacher living in the San Francisco Bay Area. Originally from Ohio, Becca’s background in sustainability and landscaping inspired her to become a part of the seed-saving and seed-sharing community with chapters across the US and Canada. Becca Anderson credits her first grade teacher as a great inspiration and runs several popular classes and workshops including “How to Put Your Passion on Paper.” Anderson and is currently at work on a book about the healing power of gardening.

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Context Productions CEO and Author Kiernan Bouryal is Today’s Honoree

Context Productions, a media company, is releasing its latest book for kids, 9/11 Courage and Tributes. The book is the third in the Discovering Heroes™ series, which increases awareness about September 11, 2001 and everyday heroes.

“We have a whole generation of kids who are largely uninformed about 9/11, yet we are on track to lose more people to 9/11-related illnesses than we lost that day,” said CEO and Author Kristie Kiernan Bouryal.

According to the World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program as of March 31, 2019, more than 95,000 people enrolled in the program and more than 49,000 have at least one disease certified as a 9/11-related illness. Since 9/11, more than 2,350 members of the program have died—over 2,100 were first responders.

“9/11 is a day that is still harming people – and this is going to continue for years to come. Many vowed to ‘Never Forget,’ but those words require action. I’m calling on every educator, parent, grandparent, close relative or friend of a child to use this book and others in the series to engage kids about 9/11,” said Bouryal.

Bouryal’s books are all based on true events. Her parents, John Kiernan, a former lieutenant in the Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY), and Benita Kiernan, a former nurse, inspired the series. They are the grandparent characters in the series who lovingly inform their grandchildren about 9/11, and the fallen and everyday heroes, by responding to the kids’ many questions.

In 9/11 Courage and Tributes, the family visits special tributes created to honor and remember those we lost. The grandkids learn about the courage of everyday heroes, including their role in America’s largest water evacuation, and that 9/11 is still harming people.

In the second book in the series, Remembering Heroes, the family visits FDNY’s Rescue Company 1 in New York City to attend a memorial service for 9/11. There, the kids learn about the nearly 3,000 people lost that day, including the 343 members of the FDNY and the 11 fallen heroes from that firehouse, all while they explore the meaning of everyday heroes and see them in action. In the first book of the series, My Buddy’s a Hero – And I Didn’t Even Know It, the grandkids learn for the first time that their grandfather was part of the rescue and recovery efforts and helped rescue the last man out alive from the ruins of the World Trade Center.

This series of books is fitting for kids of all ages, especially seven through eleven. Teaching tools for the books are available at, including activities that kids can complete and share with Bouryal for publishing consideration online or in print.

About Context Productions:

Context Productions is a media company that creates and publishes content for kids. Our Discovering Heroes™ series of non-fiction, chapter books reveal first-person accounts of heroism tied to September 11, 2001 and help kids uncover stories of everyday heroes in their lives.

For more information, visit or connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter.

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Author Tracey Kusinitz Altman is Today’s Honoree

When a sleepy-eyed Boston awakes and finds herself in new surroundings, she is full of questions! Beside her is an engaging, friendly beagle named Hunter, who quickly becomes Boston’s friend and explains that they are in an animal shelter. As their friendship deepens and their dreams of finding their forever-homes take shape, Hunter helps Boston create a very special list of everything she is looking for in a family. Readers young and old will enjoy the playful dialogue — and maybe catch a glimpse of their own feelings toward family — as both dogs reveal what’s most important to them in a forever home.

Special Paws: The Family List, is the heartwarming new tale from Tracey Kusinitz Altman. The 38-page children’s book is beautifully illustrated in vibrant colors by Joseba Morales. Inspired by Altman’s own experiences with adopting dogs from a local shelter, Special Paws is both entertaining and educational, and is sure to be enjoyed by children and dog lovers young and old. Proceeds from the sale of the book will benefit the Special Paws nonprofit organization, which supports the efforts of area animal shelters.

Author Tracey Kusinitz Altman was 50 years old when she got her very first dog. Before going to the shelter to look for a pet, a friend had helped Altman put together a list of qualities that she wanted in a dog. Boston, a beautiful terrier and pit bull mix, fit everything on the list and more. The spots on Boston’s back formed the shape of a heart, and for Altman it was love at first sight. She drew from her own experience with the local animal shelter to write Special Paws, the first in a planned series of children’s books that feature shelter animals. She also founded Special Paws, a nonprofit that raises money to support animal shelters. Altman lives in the Dallas/Fort Worth area with her two rescue dogs, Boston and Harper. You can connect with Altman on Facebook at Special Paws.

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Author Dr. Iyabo Ojikutu is Today’s Honoree

“Happiness is good, but is not enough. Peace is good, and is enough,” posits Dr. Iyabo Ojikutu, author of Permanent Happiness: The only way to find peace, joy and your life-given purpose. Being happy is typically a temporary state, she says, because we tie it to external influences. But permanent, authentic happiness is achievable if we learn how to cultivate inner peace.

“We do, of course, find happiness at different points and phases in our lives. The problem is, this situational happiness tends to be short-lived. We are happy for a few days and then fall back into anxiety, sadness and/or worry,” Dr. Iyabo explains.

Permanent Happiness is a practical guide that reads like a conversation with a close friend. Peppered with relatable anecdotes from Iyabo’s own experiences — including her divorce, workplace stress and reentering the dating scene — the lessons between the covers resonate with three-dimensional quality.

Dr. Iyabo outlines three key principles of pursuing permanent happiness through finding lasting, internal peace. First is consciously choosing to change our character. Second, we must continuously nourish our spiritual and physical lifelines. Third, we must use our gifts to elevate and inspire those around us as well as ourselves. Individual chapters explore the roles that relationships, spiritual lives and physical lives play in this quest for balance and sustainable happiness.

At its core, enduring happiness is about striking a balance between physical lives and spiritual lives and understanding that when one goes off course the other must follow. Permanent Happiness aims to inspire readers to achieve this balance for a more fulfilling future.

Dr. Iyabo Ojikutu is a board certified pediatrician, fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. She received her medical degree at the College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Nigeria. She has been practicing medicine for 25 years and currently has her own practice in Atlanta where she lives with her two daughters. She has been teaching and mentoring medical students for 13 years and serves a disadvantaged community in Georgia. Dr. Iyabo also writes The Peace Place Blog, which can be found on her website, You can also connect with her on Instagram at @driyabo; on Facebook at; on YouTube at Dr. Iyabo Ojikutu or on Twitter at @iyabomd.

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