Book Spotlight: Change Your Personality In 30 Days

Book Details:

Book Title:  SNAP! Change Your Personality in 30 Days
Authors: Gary Small, MD, Director UCLA Longevity Center and Gigi Vorgan
Category:  Adult Nonfiction, 224 pages
Genre: Self-Help / Personality / Health, Mind & Body
Publisher:  Humanix Books
Content Rating:   G

Book Description:

New York Times bestselling author Dr. Gary Small’s breakthrough plan to improve your personality for a better life!

For your chance to win a free copy click here:

Experts in psychiatry and psychology have long believed that our personalities are essentially set from early childhood and remain consistent throughout life. However, the latest scientific research contradicts this long-held assumption. New compelling evidence indicates that we can change our personalities – either on our own, with the help of a therapist, or a combination of the two – and meaningful personality change can be achieved in a snap! – as quickly as 30 days. These groundbreaking findings have shattered the false belief that we are locked into our negative personality traits – no matter how much they hinder our potential happiness and success.

As you read SNAP! you will gain a better understanding of who you are now, how others see you, and which aspects of yourself you’d like to change. You will acquire the tools you need to change your personality in just one month – it won’t take years of psychotherapy, self-exploration or re-hashing every single bad thing that’s ever happened to you. If you are committed to change, this book will provide a roadmap to achieving your goals and becoming a better you.

From New York Times bestselling author, head of the UCLA Longevity Center, and expert in neuroscience and human behavior, Dr. Gary Small, a practical look at the key components of personality development and tools and techniques for bringing the positive aspects of your personality to the forefront so you can become more successful, attractive, happier, and psychologically healthier.

Meet the authors:​

Gary Small:
Dr. Gary Small, (Los Angeles, CA) is a professor of psychiatry and director of the UCLA Longevity Center* at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience & Human Behavior. His research, supported by the NIH, has made headlines in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. Scientific American magazine named him one of the world’s leading innovators in science and technology. Dr. Small lectures internationally and frequently appears on the Today show, Good Morning America, PBS, and CNN. He has written six books, including the New York Times best seller, The Memory Bible.

Gigi Vorgan:
Gigi Vorgan (Los Angeles, CA) has written, produced, and appeared in numerous feature films and television projects before teaming up with her husband, Dr. Gary Small, to co-write The Memory Bible, The Memory Prescription,The Longevity Bible, iBrain, The Other Side of the Couch, and The Alzheimer’s Prevention Program. She lives in Los Angeles with Dr. Small and their two children.

Connect with the authors: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Youtube


Broken Shells

Nothing is going right for Antoine. He lives in a dilapidated apartment, he just lost his job and he has a wife and baby to support. As he arrives home his wife shows him a winning Money Carlo ticket from an auto dealership saying he has won $5,000. Antoine thinks it’s a scam but what choice does he have but to go and try to get his money.

Antoine takes a bus to the dealership which is out on the edge of town. When he arrives he meets Jon Dangle the dealership owner and man who issued the winning ticket. Jon has a dark secret beneath his dealership and he needs someone like Antoine to act as a sacrifice to keep it hidden. Antoine has walked into a nightmare that no one has ever escaped from. He’s now trapped in an underground cavern and something is hunting him. Will he ever see his wife and child again?

Broken Shells by Michael Patrick Hicks  is a fast paced gore fest in a subterranean Hell. The concept of this book was what drew me in. I love the idea of a man down on his luck thinking he got a big break but finding that what he really got was something far worse than his original problem. Antoine is a great character, you feel sorry for him but at the same time you see that he is not necessarily a good person. In the beginning we see he has a temper that gets him in trouble, he starts to change when he realizes what’s important to him but his anger still causes him problems. I loved how he remembers how he wanted to abandon his family but when he fears for his life his main motivation is to see them one more time.

Joe is another character in the book who has a lot of depth to him. In the beginning you see him as the villain and you hate him for what he did to Antoine. Then you get into his background and realize that he’s doing what he feels he has to do. He’s still a bad person but you understand him  You can sympathize with him as you see how his family has put a burden on him and you hear about how his life didn’t turn out for him or his wife. Joe’s main motivation is to keep the family secret and he’s willing to do anything to keep it, even if it means harming what he sees as people who won’t be missed.

My only issue with Broken Shells was the ending, I don’t want to give anything away because until that point it was a great ride. The last part seemed like your standard horror ending and it was a depressing way to end it. That being said the way the story progresses I couldn’t see it ending any other way. This book is well worth your time and its the perfect length. It’s never boring, the violence is described in vivid detail and the action is non-stop. You get all this and Michael Patrick Hicks still manages to add information on Indian mythology along with complex characters and great detail on how what lies beneath lives. What more can you ask for in a horror story?

Guest blog post: Michael Patrick Hicks

What’s in a Title?

Coming up with a title can be a tricky business. You want it to be evocative and attention-grabbing. Maybe the title comes from a catchy phrase within the book, or maybe they’re just a word or two that cut straight to the heart of the thematic elements of the book itself.

My titles tend toward this latter style. I like a title that is brief and punchy, but also illustrative of the work as a whole and the various themes and layers of the story. To me, a title needs to have meaning. With my debut novel, Convergence, I had a title that worked on multiple levels. Convergence is a near-future cyberpunk thriller. Cybernetics are a daily part of life, memory theft is a thing, the past and the present are beginning to meet in a post-war setting. In short, all kinds of things are…well, converging.

Broken Shells, my latest, has a title that works in similar ways. In this subterranean horror novella, we have a bunch of strange cryptid creatures dwelling underground, but the title does not refer only to the broken shells from which they emerge. Antoine, a down on his luck fellow, lives in a decrepit apartment in a rundown, abandoned and neglected city. The dreams of his youth have been shattered, he has lost his job, and his personal life largely brings him only dissatisfaction. He is a broken shell living within a broken shell. Jon Dangle, on the other hand, is a successful businessman, a keeper of secrets of the dark and mysterious variety. I’ll let you figure out how exactly Dangle fits into the title, but suffice to say, he’s a broken shell in his own way, too.

As a title, the words “broken shells” represent the characters, the creatures, and the state of the world they all inhabit. It’s a title that has various shades of meaning and relevance, and one that I hope catches a reader’s eye, makes them curious, and intrigues them enough to draw them in. Although Broken Shells is a novella, I believe there’s a few things for readers to work on unpacking from the book’s themes well after they turn the last page (and hopefully they’ll share with me some of their own interpretations on these broken shells!). But I will give you fair warning now – some of those things within this book? They bite, and they bite hard, and with very sharp teeth. They are out there, in the dark, and deep beneath the soil, because this world itself is a broken shell, and there are some truly scary things still hidden inside it.

Michael Patrick Hicks is the author of a number of speculative fiction titles. His debut novel, Convergence, was an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2013 Quarter-Finalist. His latest release is the subterranean horror novella, Broken Shells.
He has written for the Audiobook Reviewer and Graphic Novel Reporter websites, in addition to working as a freelance journalist and news photographer.
In between compulsively buying books and adding titles that he does not have time for to his Netflix queue, he is hard at work on his next story.

The Wicked Ones: Children of the Lost

Hell had come for Daniel Tanner. In a matter of days he lost his son Sam due to a mysterious illness and he separated from his wife who insisted the boy who died was not her son. Daniel feels like his life is over but it’s not and something worse has come to him in the disguise of a stranger. The stranger says Sam didn’t die of a disease, he was taken by a monster and was replaced by a changeling.

We try to tell ourselves that things like that only happen in fairy tales but monsters are real. Children are being kidnapped and replaced by something sinister. Daniel isn’t sure he believes it but he joins a crew of four people to keep what happened to his son from happening to anyone else. There are at least six monsters in town, they have a taste for human flesh and they may be unstoppable.

The Wicked Ones: Children of the Lost  by J.Z. Foster is a hard-core unapologetic horror novel. This book is relentless, there’s no comic relief, no reprieve, just dread, despair and maybe a little bit of hope. It starts with what I think is the ultimate horror, the loss of a child but it manages to get even scarier after that. What happens to a man who has lost everything? You find out in this book, Daniel and the others in the group have all lost someone and are psychologically damaged by it. The only thing that’s left for them is to kill the creatures stealing children and put a stop to the pale man who controls them.

I had some issues with this book, at times I felt it went to far in describing the character’s feelings and the creatures who are stalking the small town. I also thought that some of the dream sequences were a little confusing. Though I think what J.Z. Foster was trying to do was make the ultimate horror novel and show you the real world is scary but the scariest things are in your head.

The best part of this book is the characters and watching them deal with what’s happening around them. In one scene Daniel is battling demons in a dream, he starts to have memories of good times with his son but is also thinking about how he lost him and no longer wants to live. Another character, a psychic named Rebekah comes and shows him that they are inside his mind, she points out how vicious his mind is and how our own thoughts are always the worst. In another scene a character named Greg is fighting off monsters, earlier he shows he has little emotion and he’s only thing he’s good at killing, as we see him loose a loved one he breaks down and shows a different side of himself and you see what really motivates him.

The Wicked Ones is a horror novel that works on two levels, it deals with the loss of a loved one and it deals with the loss of sanity. It’s also a book about how dealing with loss changes you, all the characters deal with the worst fear imaginable but they still have hope and want to help others. The worst fear is what is inside their heads and watching them deal with the darkness within is what makes this book good. It goes where most horror stories fear to go and it never lets you catch your breath.

Modern Mythmakers: 35 Interviews with Horror & Science Fiction Writers and Filmmakers

Modern Mythmakers: 35 Interviews with Horror & Science Fiction Writers and Filmmakers by Michael McCarty is a must have for genre fans. It’s a peak inside the brain of several great minds in the world of horror and science fiction. The best part about it is it has conversations with people who are no longer with us, such as Ray Bradbury, Richard Matheson, Dan Curtis, Forrest Ackerman and others. It’s an opportunity to find out what the greats have to say about their profession.

One of my favorite moments in this book was the introduction by Alan Dean Foster. He says if life is getting you down society says to gulp down a handful of pills. Instead you will find it better if you listen to the words of the people interviewed in this book. You will feel better, stimulate your brain and become addicted to their work without the use of a narcotic. Mr. Foster is right because what’s in this book are the words of people who are passionate about what they do and you can learn from them, you just have to keep your mind open.

One interview I enjoyed was with Dark Shadow’s creator Dan Curtis. Dan gets into how he made the Zuni Fetish Doll chase Karen Black in the made for TV classic Trilogy of Terror. I found it fascinating how much work went into pulling that off, but what I liked even more is when he mentions why so many horror films stink. He talks about how people making horror films think they can do anything but they can’t because if an idea is too illogical the audience won’t be scared, they have to believe it’s possible. Dan Curtis knew how to make a good horror story and I liked reading his opinions here.

Another interview that stuck out for me was with Science Fiction author Frederik Pohl. At the time of this interview I imagine he must have been in his eighties. He has seen a lot of changes in the world of literature and he never stopped doing what he loved even when he having health issues. I love that he mentions at his age he is still trying to figure out the cosmos and how society works and changes. He even gets into all of the scientific breakthroughs that were predicted in Science Fiction. Pohl is only one of the great minds you hear from in this book and one idea he gives on writing is that the hardest part of it is sitting down and making yourself say on paper what needs to be said.

While you may not like every interview in this book it’s still a good read if you love hearing from creative people. For instance there is a wealth of information for anyone who wants to be a writer. I love reading interviews with writers along with finding out what makes them tick. I also loved that Michael asks each one: What advice would you give to a new writer? All of their responses were a little different but they all seem to agree that you always have to keep writing and write what’s in your heart, not what will make others happy. As Ray Bradbury puts it: “Write what you love, it doesn’t matter what others love.” Good advice from the masters, do what you love.