Wednesday, August 25, 2010


We're so thankful to ForeWord Magazine for such a thoughtful review!


Soul To Soul Parenting: A Guide to Raising a Spiritually Conscious Family
Annie Burnside
Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing

The over-abundance of books about spirituality speaks to the need many people feel for a more authentic, connected life; the best of these books can open doors without indulging in judgment or condescension. Soul to Soul Parenting earns its place among the best with its honesty, humor, and authenticity.

Through a combination of stories about her personal journey, ideas borrowed from the teachings of other spiritual leaders, and old-fashioned common sense, mom, educator, and soul-nurturer Annie Burnside invites her readers to strive for a deeper family experience. There are lots of distractions in the day-to-day lives of families: work, school, sports, entertainment, and vacations. By approaching each element of family life with an attitude of openness and an eye for spiritual potential, parents and children can infuse daily activities with a deeper communion.

A clear structure and vibrant text make her book ultimately readable. The first third of the book focuses on what Burnside calls Parenting Vehicles, which are practical, tangible things families can do to get in touch with their spiritual nature. The second part of the book looks more deeply into what these practices teach us, what she calls Soul to Soul Parenting Spiritual Themes. After every chapter she includes book, movie, and music suggestions that reflect and deepen the lesson. Burnside has a Masters in Education and a family with which she has developed this approach to spirituality.

Her own family serves as her most frequent example. She shares her family's special rituals, their spiritual sign, and some of their Soul to Soul Reminders—quotes about spirituality that are posted around their home and car to offer gentle reminders to remain connected to their souls. Her willingness to open her own home and family to the eyes of readers speaks to her inherent strength.

Burnside's text feels honest, authentic, friendly, and nonjudgmental. “One individual may feel God kneeling in prayer on the pew of a beautiful old church. That is absolute perfection. Another individual may find God riding on his Harley through the countryside watching the sunrise. That is absolute perfection.” She makes it clear throughout her book that she is not writing from within the confines of one specific religion, that her viewpoint is inclusive as opposed to exclusive, and that her way of parenting from the spirit may not be the same path other parents will take.

With modesty, infectious excitement, and great writing, Burnside offers families an alternative to the fast-paced, materialistic grind in which they often find themselves caught. (June 2010) Andi Diehn

Review date: August 2010.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Cracker Factory ....a movie clip and more

The other video I had linked to was removed unfortunately, but I just found this Spanish version -- shows how powerful the story is, it translates well in any language! Seeing our author's name, Joyce Rebeta-Burditt, on the opening credits gives me goosebumps. Any ideas who could star in the Natalie Wood's role... 40 years later?! 

Here's  Cassie having a breakdown at the grocery store, then confronting her husband, Charlie, about it… and then, trying to overdose... before she is brought to the hospital and gets locked in the psyche ward, or "the cracker factory" as she calls it.

The two-book set -- the re-release of the 1977 book this movie is based on, THE CRACKER FACTORY, and our brand new sequel THE CRACKER FACTORY 2 -- will be available as a set on Amazon next month. Our distributor just started offering this option of multi-volume sets and I am beyond excited to see this COLLECTOR'S SET packaged together.

Fans are coming out of the woodworks (actually, the internet) -- "Do you know Cassie Barrett?"seems to be a question many recovered alcoholics, and those still on the path, resoundingly respond, "YES!" And everyone is excited to learn what Cassie (Natalie Wood's character) has been doing over the last four decades. I keep being asked, "Is it fiction?" And I laugh, "It's a thinly veiled semi-autobiographical novel. Both books are fiction... but you have to read Book #2 to see the unveiling of the author's real world in Book #1.

To complement the one-of-a-kind structure of the writing, I've taken my creative license on the interior of this one. Literally, and visually, it is a screenplay within the screenwriter's memoir. I have a personal affinity to books in which the author discusses their writing career, reflecting on the actual publishing of their work, and oh-my-gosh the making of their book into a movie!

The author's wild Hollywood career since the release of her first book is mind-blowing... even though there is a generation not familiar with her work, (She wrote and produced Matlock starring Andy Griffith, Perry Mason starring Raymond Burr, and Father Dowling Mysteries starring Tom Bosley and Tracy Nelson. She then created Diagnosis Murder starring Dick Van Dyke) there's a bridge between the books, and the audience, because of the timelessness of the story, and of alcoholism and addiction. The character from the 70's movie played by Shelley Long could have easily been depicting a current-day Lindsay Lohan, and the author's memoir of big-network politics and extra-curricular affairs could be lifted from a current script of Entourage!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Turkish, Chinese, Korean and Russian Editions!

We are signing the Turkish and Chinese Rights for CONNECTION PARENTING by Pam Leo! It's already available  in Korean and Russian. Here's one of the covers I found...

It is Pam's dream for her book to be available in every language, all over the world. CONNECTION PARENTING is currently being represented by Evelyn Kagey Lee, Amer-Asia Books, Inc. 

CONNECTION PARENTING was also made available this year as an Audible Audiobook!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

An Excerpt... on Twitter!

Read an excerpt from our upcoming book THE CRACKER FACTORY 2: WELCOME TO WOMEN'S GROUP on Twitter:

Welcome 2 Women’s Group!

Follow the women's group meeting, and read the excerpt, 
on this Twitter List:

Have you, friends, or family suffered from alcoholism? 
Join us for our next meeting! Follow for updates and meeting announcements.

Take a seat and tweet... everyone is welcome 2 women’s group.  

(Since this is our second fiction, we are having a bit of fun! I'm sure big publishing houses have been doing this for years, but we are excited to invite readers into a twitter-world of the novel's characters.)

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I’d like to welcome you to the Tuesday Night Women’s Group. But first I need to tell you how I got here!

The Cracker Factory was an autobiographical novel that told my story of alcoholism and finding sobriety. In the novel, Cassie Barrett was me, and Charlie was my husband, George.

Here’s a little background, in case you haven’t met Cassie yet… 

Cassie is a twenty-something housewife, married at eighteen, three times a mom by twenty-two. Having gone straight from her father’s house yippie-skippy to her husband’s house, she’d lost something in the quick daughter-to-wife transition. Herself. 

Overwhelmed by her responsibilities and frightened by her increasing anger and frustration, she’d taken to sipping, then nipping from the one-drink-before-dinner scotch until occa-sional blackouts and empty bottles hidden in the laundry hamper finally made her admit to herself that she might have a drinking problem.

Her husband thought she was too young to have a drinking problem. All the drunks he knew were over forty. Her mother advised her to learn to drink like a lady “but don’t quit because you’ll be no fun at parties.” 

Cassie, who was becoming sicker and sicker, thought she might die from drinking before she was old enough. 

With nowhere to turn, and in those days no treatment programs for alcoholism, Cassie Barrett had only one option. She signed herself into a pyschiatric ward she lovingly deemed “The Cracker Factory.”

In this book, The Cracker Factory 2: Welcome to Women’s Group, we pick up where The Cracker Factory left off. Cassie has embraced Alcoholics Anonymous and is a long-time member of a Women’s AA Group. Cassie and her fellow AA members help each other to live sober the lives that had become unmanageable while they were drinking. The issues they discuss—the husbands, lovers, kids, careers and emotions that sometimes threaten to go out of control—are the heartaches, triumphs and love stories shared by women everywhere, not only by those with a drinking problem.

What else, besides staying sober, has Cassie been doing for forty-plus years? I’d like to tell you that my alter ego formulated a brilliant plan and then followed it meticulously. But, I had no plan. Things happened, followed by other things, leaving me in a constant state of astonishment.

First surprise: The Cracker Factory became a bestseller, and it was made into an ABC-TV movie starring Natalie Wood! Then, things really started happening. The Eighties, Nineties, and up to the present have been a whirlwind of the Unplanned Life which could be subtitled “Little Alice from Cleveland Falls Down the Rabbit Hole and Lands in Wonderland (Hollywood).” 

In alternating memoir chapters of The Cracker Factory 2, I’ll take you with me through years of Hollywood life as a network executive, writer, producer, and boggle-eyed witness to celebrities, chauvinism, big producers, studios, epidemic cocaine use, and actors (both sweet and sour), all seen through my (and Cassie’s) unrelentingly sober eyes.

Opposite these memoir chapters, Women’s Group invites you to sit at the table, pick up a script and play a part along with Cassie and her friends.  

Why stay sober? Because  sober is better. Richer. More fun. Always. Relax. Listen in. Women’s Group might just help you, too.

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