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My Blog Interview On IV League


Author Interview: Gary Goldstein

By Keri B.

In June of 1998, Gary Goldstein was arrested after robbing a series of dry cleaners to pay back bookies and feed his addiction. After serving 6 years in the New York State Department of Correction and Community Supervision, Goldstein was released and penned a memoir entitled Jew in Jail. Today, Goldstein is clean and sober, working as a motivational speaker, and promoting his book.

1. What prompted you to write this? I mean, there are lots of people who do prison time; what prompted you to write a book about it?JewInJail_Cover

I have always wanted to write a book, although, obviously, not under these conditions of becoming incarcerated. However, once I knew that my fate was going to be serving time in prison, I decided to write Jew in Jail, and was inspired to do so once my beloved late father, Irving Goldstein, passed away from the effects of lung cancer and emphysema on January 23, 1999, which was only 15 days after I had been sentenced, and still on Rikers Island waiting to be transported north to a correctional facility. My father had always encouraged me to be my best, and offered unending support my entire life, so I wanted to honor my father by dedicating Jew in Jail to how special my father was to me.

In addition, the other reason why I wrote Jew in Jail was to show anyone that whatever obstacles appear in one’s life – and in my case it was the disease of addiction – it is possible to overcome them and go on to lead a positive and fruitful life. These days, aside from being a published author, I am also a motivational and inspirational speaker on the topic of recovery from addiction, and get so much out of helping others.

2. What was your writing process like for this? Did you write most of it as it happened or did you later decide to put pen to paper?

I wrote Jew in Jail as I was serving my time, and it turned about to be extremely therapeutic to do so! It allowed me to not only document my life behind bars on a daily basis, but also helped me keep my sanity under the worst possible conditions, as well as plan my strategy for my eventual release.

3. Did you consider traditional publishing routes before deciding to go for indie publishing?

Yes, I did, and I sent many query letters out. Unfortunately, though, as a first-time author, I received a lot of rejection letters, so eventually simply decided to self-publish Jew in Jail.

4. What have you done for marketing? You seem to have a lot more blog and online interviews than many of the indie authors; you’ve really gotten your name out there. How did you do it?

Thank you for noticing that, Keri!

First of all, it is very, very important for any author – especially an indie one – to come up with a “hook,” which is a way to get readers, and the public in general to notice you.

In my case, the most successful marketing technique I have used thus far – and continue to use – is dressing up in my prison costume to get attention for Jew in Jail, which I first did in May of 2011 at the Jacob K. Javits Center for BookExpo America 2011 (BEA 2011). I paraded around the entire center handing out my business cards and bookmarks, took photos with attendees, and also autographed copies of my book wearing that outfit. Now, wherever I go, I am known as the Jew in jail, or at least, that Jew who was in jail, and wrote about it! It certainly was a smart marketing strategy, and one that has definitely gotten me noticed.

Aside from blog, online and radio interviews, I also remain involved in social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Goodreads as well.

I also speak at drug treatment programs, hospital detoxes, jails, schools, or anywhere else I can help make a difference in someone’s life, whether they are an addict in recovery, a current or former prisoner, or just a person not living up to their full potential.

5. How many copies have you sold so far?

Honestly, I really don’t know, since my royalty payments are deposited directly into my bank account.

I can tell you that, as mentioned earlier, I actually didn’t write Jew in Jail to make money, but only as a way to honor and pay tribute to my late father, as well as help others in a similar situation in life.

Now, though, with the 10 year “anniversary” of my release from prison quickly approaching, coupled with the fact that I have invested a lot of money to get the word out, I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I would like to see Jew in Jail sell millions of copies, in addition to myself becoming a highly successful motivational & inspirational speaker!

6. I see that you do some public speaking – how did you get into that?

Becoming a motivational & inspirational speaker has only been possible by remaining clean and sober, and then from going out into the world to meet people and promote myself, Jew in Jail, and, of course, tirelessly doing my best to help others.

In other words, good things happen when one works hard, is selfless, and listens to others and takes suggestions.

I have found that doors have opened up for me by simply being honest about myself and my past, remaining humble, and choosing to give, rather than take.

In one particular instance, I met a man who runs a drug treatment center in Virginia when he appeared as a guest and listened to me speak at a meeting in New York City.

I handed him a copy of my book, he liked what he read, and then invited me down to his program to speak – not only there, but at two local jails in the area as well.

Here is the video of that speech, which, although admittedly new at doing back then, I am still very proud of the message of hope I gave to those in attendance

7. Your bio says that you worked in journalism before your arrest but in construction after (until you turned to public speaking). As a journalist, I’m curious why you didn’t return to journalism? Did it have negative associations for you? Did a felony make getting a job at that level – you had been working for big names like CBS and NBC – not feasible?

That is such a great question, Keri!

I started working at CBS TV as an unpaid intern while a senior at Long Island University way back in 1982 and loved it.

Upon graduation, I was given a full-time paying job and thought I would work there forever!

However, not long after I started, I injured my back on the job and discovered I was living with many physical problems that I didn’t know about until I aggravated it in the accident.

Long story short was that I quickly developed an addiction to pain medication and then gambling, until I became too big for my britches and a liability for the company, which eventually caused them to terminate my employment.

I did return many years later on a per diem basis, although I was forced to start back at the bottom, as opposed to where I had ascended to previously, and was just not comfortable with that situation.

But I have nobody else to blame except for myself – notwithstanding the fact that addiction is a disease – because I also did have “many bites of the apple” elsewhere, having also worked at NBC TV, NBA Entertainment, Major League Baseball Productions, The New York Post, and other prominent organizations in the media field.

8. Somewhat randomly, what was your prison name? I was called Harry Potter the entire time I was in prison – what were you called? Or were you lucky enough to escape without a prison name?

Fat chance! I was called many names, both by my fellow prisoners, the correction officers and staff alike!

Just think for a moment. I am a Jewish man from Brooklyn, who was incarcerated with hundreds of men who were mostly black and Hispanic, not to mention a majority of the officers and other staff members who were white and looked down on me for being locked up in the first place.

I am sure you can get where this is going, but if not, you and your readers are definitely invited to check out Jew in Jail to find out!

9. Do you have any plans for future books?

I have been taking notes for another book for several years now, but decided to hold off and pursue a career in motivational and inspirational speaking instead.

I can always write when I have free time, and definitely enjoy putting pen to paper.

However, for now, this “Jew in Jail” feels the need to tell his story, so that others can be helped and prevented from making the same mistakes in life.

Read more…

Selecting Browse Categories

Selecting Browse Categories

Selecting a browse category for your book is a lot like deciding where your book should be shelved in a library. 

When customers browse through the Amazon Kindle Store for books that might interest them, they are presented with genres and subgenres. By selecting browse categories, you decide which genres feature your book. KDP uses BISAC Subject Codes, an industry standard system, to help determine where your book should show up for browsing and searching customers. You can read more about the BISAC Subject Code system and see the most current list of codes here: 

When creating a new title in KDP, you may choose up to 2 categories for your book. To help determine which categories best fit your book, you may consider searching for other titles in the Amazon catalog that are similar to yours. You can then find the browse categories that are assigned to those titles by scrolling down the book's detail page to the "Look for Similar Items by Category" section located at the bottom of the page. The categories you select for your book will be used to filter it into the most relevant customer searches and browse sections on Amazon. 

Choosing the Best Browse Categories 

There are three main criteria that will help you choose the best browse categories. 

• Picking the most accurate categories. Make sure the categories you've picked correctly describe the subject matter of your book.

• Selecting the most specific categories. It's better to choose more specific categories instead of more general categories. Customers looking for very specific topics will more easily find your book, and your book will be displayed in more general categories as well (for example, a book in the "FICTION > Fantasy > Historical" category will also show up in searches for general fiction and general fantasy books). You should only select a "General" category if your book is actually a general book about a broad topic.

• Ensuring the categories you choose are not redundant. Since your book will be displayed in a variety of searches by choosing even a single category, you shouldn't place it in both a category and any of that category's sub-categories (for example, selecting both "FICTION > Fantasy > Historical" and "FICTION > Fantasy"). Even selecting just one specific, accurate category is preferable to selecting an inaccurate category just to have a second category listed.

Categories With Keyword Requirements 

In order to list your title in certain sub-categories, you'll need to add Search Keywords in addition to the categories you choose for your title. Click a category in the list below to see the keyword requirements. The browse categories listed below are specific to with the exception of the Romance and Science Fiction & Fantasy categories which are also available for


Science Fiction & Fantasy 


Teen & Young Adult 

Mystery, Thriller, & Suspense 

Comics & Graphic Novels 

Literature & Fiction 

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Search Results on

This topic contains frequently asked questions about search results, plus information on categories.

Search Results FAQs

Why is the wrong edition showing up when I search for my book?

In order to show our customers more choices in their search results, we typically display only one edition of each book on the Search Results page. The edition is chosen based on a set of business rules designed to provide the best customer experience. For example, newer editions are generally preferred over older editions. Occasionally, our system experiences delays in obtaining the latest data about each edition, which may result in another edition being displayed temporarily.

If you have further questions about the edition of your book that is appearing in Search Results, contact us.

On the Contact Us form:

  1. Under "Select an issue," select My Books.
  2. Under "Select details," select Update information about a book.
  3. In the fields that appear, select Update something else, and then I want to update search results for my book or for my name.
  4. Tell us the reasons that the book currently appearing is not the best one for your customers.

Why doesn't my book appear in the search results?

If your search query consists of common words or names, there may be many other items that match, so your book might not appear on the first page or even the first few pages of results. This is especially true if you are searching on the home page and have not restricted your search to Books. The home page search includes just the top few results from each product category. Search results should always display the assigned ISBN or ASIN. When the name searched for under Books matches the name on an Author page, the search results display a link to the Author Page.

The best way to search for your item is to use the Advanced Search form in Books.

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Why isn't my book showing up as the Number 1 search result?

Search results are sorted by relevance, and the relevance ranking function uses many different elements to determine the best matches for customers' queries. If you are searching by title, there may be similar titles that are more popular or that score more highly than your book.

Search results change constantly, based on several factors. Though we cannot manually alter search results, we can suggest ways you can optimize them.

Tips for Optimizing Your Book’s Search Results:

  1. Sign up for Search Inside the Book.
  2. Remember that your book is competing against other items that are being promoted in many media outlets. You can post a link to your book’s detail page on your Facebook and Twitter accounts and in your e-mail signature. General consumer data on how popular your item is will influence search result relevance.
  3. If the book's subtitle is concise and subject-relevant, add that to the title. To do this, click on Books tab on your Author Central page and select the book. Then:
    1. Click Suggest Product Information Updates and add your subtitle to the Title Field under “Suggest Changes.”
    2. Enter the reason are suggesting the change.
      • If the subtitle appears on the book’s cover in “Product Image,” select The Amazon product page contains information that verifies this change.
      • If there is no product image and you have an eStore, include a link to your eStore and selectThe publisher’s website verifies my changes.
      • If there is no product image and you do not have an eStore, link to another reputable website that contains documentation of your title and select There are other websites that verify my changes.
    3. Preview and confirm your suggestions. If accepted, your changes will appear in 1 to 3 days.

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Categories can help readers find your book more easily.


  • You can view the Categories that a book is listed in by scrolling to the bottom of the Product Detail Page to the section titled "Look for Similar Items by Category." 
  • Browse paths are listed in this format:
    • Books > Travel > Africa > Morocco
    • Books > Literature & Fiction > Women's Fiction > Single Women Literature 
  • We generally limit the number of assigned browse categories to two for each title. When data from publisher feeds is automatically added to a Product Detail Page, it sometimes results in more than two assigned browse paths. We are unable to add more than two categories to the Product Detail Page for a book. You're welcome to change the existing categories for your title. 
  • To change the browse categories currently assigned to your book, first take some time to peruse the categories in the "Books" section of our store. Once you've found the two categories you like, pleasecontact us.

    On the Contact Us form:

    1. Under "Select an issue," select My Books.
    2. Under "Select details," select Update information about a book.
    3. In the fields that appear, select browse categories, and then I want browse categories in the Product Details section.

    We'll ask for the book's ASIN and which browse paths you would like replaced with new categories. 

Read more…

Jew in Jail: How It All Began!

Hello everyone.

I wanted to post the first chapter of my book, “Jew in Jail,” again, for anyone who hasn’t read it yet to learn what it was like for me – addicted to alcohol, drugs and gambling at the time and eventually sentenced to seven years behind bars for robbery – to recover and go on to lead a healthy, happy and productive life.

No matter what addiction you or someone you know and love may be suffering from, or if said person is simply not living up to his or her full potential, it IS possible to get better and enjoy life, which is what “Jew in Jail” is all about.

If you would like to read the rest of my book, or have me come and deliver a motivational & inspirational speech to your group – at a school, jail, drug treatment program, or anywhere I can be of help – then please feel free to contact me through my website,

Thanks, and enjoy the first chapter of “Jew in Jail.”

1. THE DAY THIS WHOLE NIGHTMARE BEGANMy mother had asked me, the night before, what I was doing with that toy gun. She noticed it on the foot of the extra bed in my room, and I told her that I was going to give it to my friend Alan’s son as a birthday present. I lied to her. The truth of the matter was that I was an alcoholic, a drug addict, and a compulsive gambler, and I was planning to go into Manhattan the next day in order to rob a few dry cleaning stores.

I had thought about doing this before, but this time, I had to go through with it—I already owed the bookmaker six hundred and forty dollars for the week that was about to end, and not only was I unlikely to get even, but I didn’t have the cash in my house. I gave my sister and her husband about ten thousand dollars of my money several months earlier to hold on to, and I was tired of calling and asking for some of it back, a little bit at a time, which I had been doing for a while now. Besides, what could go wrong? I was smart, and knew that all dry cleaning stores have old-fashioned cash registers, no video cameras, and are run either by women or Chinese people, and I would be in and out in no time at all. And once I stole enough money to pay off my debt, I would stop gambling for good. So there was no harm in doing this at all, right?

I woke up bright and early that next morning, which was Saturday, June 13, 1998 (I actually don’t remember sleeping at all the night before), and had breakfast: three Valium, three Tylenol #4 with Codeine, and a bottle of Heineken beer. Then I got dressed and hopped on the D train to Manhattan. I brought another Heineken along with me for the ride, but finished it before the train even departed the Brighton Beach station.

After transferring to two more trains, I finally arrived at my destination: the east side of Manhattan—First Avenue in the 60s, where there were as many dry cleaning stores around as any good thief could want. So I proceeded to walk up First, looking into each dry cleaning establishment I passed, until I found one that was empty and had a woman working behind the counter. I had a plan but needed a rehearsal, so I went into dry cleaning store number one on First Avenue and 67th Street.

“Good morning,” the woman behind the counter cheerfully said to me. “Can I help you?”

“Yes, could you please tell me how much it would cost to clean and press these dungarees that I am wearing?” I asked so innocently.

“Three dollars and fifty cents,” the shopkeeper replied, anxiously awaiting my decision.

“Oh, okay, maybe I’ll be back later,” I responded as I walked out the door, knowing very well that I had no intention of returning.

Still not feeling comfortable with my game plan, I went through my practice run at another place.

Then, after having swallowed my fourth and fifth Valium and Tylenol #4 with Codeine, and washing that down with yet another Heineken, my third of the morning (it was still only 8:25 AM), I conjured up enough courage and felt the time was right to go to work.

So I entered the next dry cleaning store that suited my needs. After asking my “how much” question, I allowed the woman behind the counter to start her answer before I began what later would be the biggest mistake of my thirty-six-year life to that point. She was Indian or Pakistani, just the kind of foreigner who would easily comply with my demands, I remember thinking at the time. As we made eye contact while she was telling me the price to clean and press my dungarees, I nonchalantly lifted up my shirt, thereby exposing the toy gun that was tucked neatly under my waistband, and calmly and methodically ordered, “Empty the money out of the cash register or I’ll blow your fucking brains out!”

I remembered the terror in her eyes later on while I was in my jail cell at the 17th Precinct, wondering how I could have done this to another human being, not once, but three times in all. This, after all, was the kind of thing that you only read about in newspapers or see on the news. But I was desperate. I was in debt to my bookie and was feeling nice from the pills and beer. Besides, I rationalized, I absolutely had no intentions of hurting anybody. Little did I realize at the time that the tables could have been turned, and I could have been blown away myself, with there being no repercussions at all to the store owner. However, my plan had worked like a charm, and I grabbed the loot off the counter and scurried outside to hail a cab.

I told the cabbie to drive straight down First Avenue and I’d let him know when to let me out. Being a neat freak, I began to straighten out the money, which I had balled up in my hand, and when it was finally arranged the way I liked it and safe in my pocket, I instructed the cab driver to pull over and let me out. “Two-seventy-five,” he said to me, as we approached the curb. “Here, keep the change,” I replied, as I handed him a five-dollar bill, feeling like a real big shot.

I got out of the cab and stood on the corner of First Avenue and 51st Street for a few minutes in order to psych myself up for my next robbery. Being intoxicated and high from the pills, I never stopped to think for a moment that the woman I just ripped off a few minutes earlier might have called the police, and that they were looking for me right now. I was only about fifteen blocks away from the first robbery, but we crooks are smarter than the cops anyway. We have to be!

I set my game plan into motion again, an exact replica of the first. And the results were the same as well. So I figured I’d try it one more time and that would be it. After all, I had to make sure that I got back home in time to study the baseball lines (odds) in the newspaper and call my bookmaker. Then I was going to take my radio and lie on the beach, it being a beautiful sunny day and all. You see, I was planning on making a whole day of it: the robberies in the morning, lying in the sun all afternoon, and then going over to O.T.B. that night to bet on the horses at Yonkers Raceway. This is what I had been doing pretty much every day (except for the robberies) since I was fired six months earlier for drinking on the job at Phoenix Communications (Major League Baseball Productions).

I continued to walk down First Avenue, this time oblivious to everything else around me, until I found another dry cleaning store that I felt could provide me with another success story. I stumbled (literally) onto a small mom-and-pop operation and went inside. There, I found the cutest little old Chinese man and woman going about their business, and by now, after having accomplished two robberies with relative ease, I felt like a seasoned pro on top of his game. So, again I went through my shtick of asking the price to clean and press my pants, but this time, I couldn’t wait. I immediately displayed the (toy) gun in my waistband and demanded the cash. Appearing frightened out of his wits, the elderly gentleman placed the cigar box he and his wife used as a cash register on top of the counter while his wife remained behind her husband for protection, and like a little kid rifling through the cookie jar, I grabbed its contents and fled.

Not knowing exactly how much money I had accumulated, I said to myself that three robberies were enough. But I wasn’t ready to head home just yet. Not until I had another beer or two. This was another of the many mistakes I made that day.

I began walking again until I came upon a little delicatessen that sold beer, not even grasping the fact that I had just committed three “armed” robberies, and that the police were probably hot on my trail at that very moment. But, hey, I earned this break for myself. I justified. I had just worked up quite a thirst, pulling off three robberies in the previous thirty minutes.

I went into the deli and grabbed an ice cold Heineken from out of the freezer and asked the owner what the price was, like any good Jew would have done. Then I walked out and proceeded to drink my beer as I leisurely strolled down the street. After downing it in no time flat and letting out a healthy belch, I remember saying to myself that one more cold one was in order before heading home. After all, my mission had been accomplished, and I was now hungry and tired. So I looked for another deli, all the while not caring one iota about the lowlife things I had just done to these innocent and hardworking shopkeepers.

It being Manhattan, there were many delis to choose from, and I decided to cut over to Second Avenue for a change of scenery. I found a store to my liking near the strip club Scores on 60th Street and took the Heineken out of the freezer and over to the counter. When the woman who worked there told me that I owed her two-seventy-five, I became enraged. “I just paid one-fifty two blocks away,” I shouted, as a small crowd began to form at the counter. After getting nowhere with my efforts at haggling, I paid her “extortion money” and walked out, slamming the door behind me.

I crossed the street and found a cozy corner in which to drink my beer before calling it a morning (it was still only nine-fifteen, and I wasn’t ready to “escape” into the subway system just yet). All of a sudden, from seemingly out of nowhere and coming from every direction, were the police. Before I knew what hit me, one cop tackled me hard to the sidewalk, knocking my bottle of beer high into the air; it came crashing down to the pavement.

“Where’s the gun?” the flatfoot demanded.

“What gun?” I asked, as he took the fake weapon from out of my pocket.

He then pulled me up off the ground and brought me over to one of the many squad cars that were now on the scene.

“We got him. We got Woody Allen,” the officer chirped as he handcuffed and handed me over to another of New York’s finest. “Don’t move an inch, you piece of shit,” the second officer ordered, as I finally realized the magnitude of what I had done, although still not believing that all of these cops had come just for little old me with the balding head and thick prescription eyeglasses.

After being positively identified right there in the street by my last victim, the elderly Chinese man, I was placed into the police car and taken over to the 17th Precinct, without even having had my rights read to me.

At the police station, I was immediately processed (photographed and fingerprinted), and then thrown into a filthy, stinking cell. Oh, yeah, and my money and pills were taken from me, presumably to be held as evidence.

“Now I’ve really done it,” I remember mumbling to myself, as the gravity of the entire situation began to completely sink in. Then, after lingering in my cell for over an hour, two sharply dressed detectives came to pay me a visit.

“How ya’ doing, Gary? I’m Detective Burns and this is my partner, Detective Foley,” the older of the two announced.

“Can I please have my medication back?” I asked. “I’m not feeling well, and my back hurts.” (I have scoliosis and a slipped disc, among other problems with my back, which is why I began taking these pills in the first place many years earlier.)

“We want to talk to you first,” Detective Foley responded, as he began to open up my cell.

I was then brought upstairs to the squad room and handed a cup of water as I took a seat in Detective Burns’ office. But my one free telephone call was still not forthcoming.

“You know, Gary, those were very nice people you robbed today,” Burns offered.

“Can I please have some of my medication back?” I tried again. “I’m suffering from withdrawal symptoms and need some of my Valium and Tylenol #4 with Codeine because my back hurts.”

Although the Tylenol #4 with Codeine was indeed prescribed for my back pain by my personal physician, Dr. Gencer Filiz, and the Valium for my nerves, due to my anxiety, at this point in my life I was merely only taking these pills to get high because I was an addict.

“Gary, you tell us what happened, and we’ll give you back some of your medication,” Foley guaranteed.

“What happened?” I asked, as if I had no idea of what Burns and Foley were inquiring about.

“Look, Gary,” Burns said, “we were out there in our car and we saw you darting across First Avenue. You almost got yourself run over, you know. But we don’t want you…we want the bigger fish out there. You tell us what we want to hear, and then we’ll speak to the assistant district attorney, whom we are good friends with, and we promise that she will let you go home today and you won’t even be prosecuted.”

“Can I have some of my pills back first?” I bargained yet again. “I’m a drug addict and I need to take the edge off.”

Detective Foley removed three Tylenol #4 with Codeine and three Valium from my pill bottle, which he now had in his possession, and gave them to me. I quickly threw all six pills into my mouth and washed them down with a big gulp of water before Burns and Foley could change their minds.

“Now step up to the plate and be a man,” Burns implored of me, in a slight variation of the normal good cop/bad cop routine. “Tell me what happened from the very beginning.”

As I began spilling my guts, I noticed Burns was writing everything down like a secretary taking dictation from her boss. And whenever I got stuck or was unsure about some of the details of my crime, Burns didn’t hesitate to put his two cents in and volunteer information.

When my statement was complete, Foley told me to sign it at the bottom, and I complied, without hesitation. After all, he and Burns promised that I would be back home by the end of the day, and when you are as high and drunk as I was, you tend to believe the words of two experienced detectives. Another of my many mistakes on that fateful day.

But the deal wasn’t completed yet. Not by a longshot. I was then taken by another detective, Hackett, to the 19th Squad, where I was to give another statement, this one written by me. Detective Hackett, on the car ride over to the 19th Squad, told me that after I write this second statement, using my “own words,” I should add a paragraph or two explaining how sorry and remorseful I was for what I had done, and that he would see to it that I was placed into an inpatient drug treatment program to get the help I needed. That all sounded good to me, since I really did want to get my life straightened out once and for all, so I did exactly as he instructed.

In all honesty, and even looking back at it now, although he lied and set me up like the rest of them, Hackett really wasn’t a bad guy. He did feed me McDonald’s after I completed that second written statement, which was more than Burns, Foley, or anyone else did for me.

I still had one more confession to give, and it was a big one. Alan Daab, who was the arresting officer, then took me over to One Hogan Place, where Assistant District Attorney Lois Booker-Williams was waiting.

In the squad car, Daab said to me, “Gary Goldstein, what’s a nice Jewish guy like you committing robberies for?”

“I don’t know. I’m a drug addict and a gambler,” I answered, as if he even gave a damn. I then asked him if I could use the telephone to call Sportsphone when we arrived at our destination, because I needed to double check the scores of the previous night’s ballgames, and he very patronizingly said that I could.

The woman, who I was led to believe was eventually going to send me home as if nothing had ever happened, had Room 1209 all set up for me to give a videotaped confession.

By now, it was 1:15 PM, and I was no longer drunk or high, but very, very tired. I just wanted to get this whole thing over with, and presumably go home. So, after receiving my Miranda warnings for the very first time, I looked straight ahead (the camera was behind a one-way mirror) and, in essence, hung myself out to dry. When Lois Booker-Williams had what she needed, she stopped the tape and nodded at Daab.

“Let’s go, you piece of shit,” Daab ordered.

“What about that phone call I need to make?” I inquired.

“They’ll let you call after you’ve been processed at Central Booking,” Daab said.

“But Detectives Burns, Foley, and Hackett all told me that I would be going home after I confessed,” I insisted. “Can I talk to you, Ms. Booker-Williams?”

“I said let’s go, and I don’t want to hear another word out of your mouth until we get to Central Booking,” said Daab.

When we arrived at Central Booking, it finally began to sink in that I was tricked, manipulated, and used. After processing was completed, which included removing my shoelaces to prevent suicide, I was permitted to call my mother and father.

I told them everything that had happened, and that I was sorry. It was yet another case of my causing my parents so much unnecessary pain and aggravation. After telling them that I would call again the next day, when I knew more of what was going on, I curled up like a fetus, and went to sleep on my part of the bench in the cell that I had to share with eleven other guys.

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Kolaches - Amazing & Easy!


Kolaches - Amazing & Easy!

For those living in the Texas “Czech Belt”, kolaches are a part of everyday life. This sweet yeast bread filled with fruit or cheese was brought to the U.S. with Czech immigrants, in the mid-1800s. This very personal cookbook was written by the grand-daughter of Czech Immigrants and she weaves family tales of her forefathers among the recipes.

A "kolache", for those who have never been blessed with a sampling of the pastry, is a type of pastry that holds a dollop of fruit rimmed by a puffy pillow of supple dough.

This step-by-step guide, complete with pictures and videos, will allow even the most timid baker the opportunity to make this old world classic easily and perfect every time.

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About Illustrator Rosa Maria Morató Roig

10916214058?profile=originalBorn (1962- ) in Barcelona, Spain, Rosa Maria Morató Roig enjoyed drawing and art since she was a child.

In the eighties, she studied and worked as an art model for students, teachers, and artists at the Universidad de Barcelona. A decade later, while working as a freelance illustrator, Rosa Maria participated in numerous individual and collective exhibitions in cafes, galleries, and social centers. During this period she won several poster competitions in Catalonia.

Between 2000 and 2010, a period of great personal transformation, Rosa Maria traveled to India, walked the Camino de Santiago, and explored regions of her native Spain and Catalonia. She lived in the medieval towns of Santa Coloma de Queralt and Igualada, becoming involved in the cultural life there by exhibiting her work, teaching art classes (primarily for children), and storytelling.

After returning to Barcelona in 2010, Rosa Maria has focused on creating collections of handmade art cards for several independent shops and private customers in Spain and the United Kingdom and for the online digital print and greeting card company,

Rosa Maria’s most recent project has been to illustrate the children’s book: Francisco and Gabriel’s Blue Moon Adventure ©2014.

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About Author Viktoria Vidali

The sound of music – while homeschooling two children and teaching piano to others – brought years of magic to Viktoria's life. When college time came for her sons, now strong young men, she watched them spread their wings and soar, seeking new adventures to discover their place in the world. 
Next Viktoria photographed thousands of flowers, exploring with vision’s mystery the songs of silence rising from gardens and wild ≠lands everywhere. After ten years of feasting on a profusion of forms and colors, a digital print and card business was born by its own energy and by popular demand:
She then went in search of an artist who could create rich drawings that danced in harmony with her collection of floral images, and alas! Rosa Maria Morató Roig appeared via the Internet on the opposite side of the planet, truly an albatross' flight away between Barcelona and California. Rosa Maria's art provided the spell-binding excitement of creating a children's book with deep, heart-expanding nourishment, like the classical fairytales of old. 
Viktoria and Rosa Maria's shared belief that all children deserve the rescue of love and the light of inspiration spurred their launch of Blue Albatross Press and its first publication: Francisco and Gabriel's Blue Moon Adventure. 
When she is not writing or photographing, Viktoria collaborates with her husband as Assistant Director on films and serves as the Executive Director of UNECO, an environmental and educational nonprofit organization. She regularly blogs at
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Dear Readers and Writers,

Once upon a time, not so long ago, loving parents and gentle souls with warm hearts were enchanted by happy, innocent children. They delighted in reading a beautiful book with them as their wide-eyed audience hung on every word and looked at each exciting color picture.This nurturing scene happens today where children grow surrounded by good parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and are cared for by devoted older brothers, sisters, and friends, participating in their unfolding.  Indeed, reading great literature to children could save our world.

The difficulties many families face in our times are due to manufactured, hurtful fears, fears we can remove through the power of the arts and the imagination, powerful guides that offer a new way of seeing the world. Most know that for this to happen a major and truly positive change is needed.

Change is a magical word. Tried and tested sailors know when a “change of course” will take their boat into safer waters. A change of course, however, is possible only by firmly taking hold of the wheel and giving time, attention, and energy to what lies ahead.

Children deserve our loving attention and must be given the best education we can gather from humanity’s rich legacy. For each generation to thrive, this treasure of wisdom must be renewed: that means we must introduce our children to the classics as well as to new literature so they can discover what they could never find in the dark television madness of insipid, frantic, and meaningless consumer brain-washing. Additionally, many children’s videos and games promote violence and destroy a child’s innocence.

Francisco and Gabriel’s Blue Moon Adventure is a soul-nourishing tale of love, family unity, brotherhood, mysterious communication with nature, and the amazing flight of a great bird, projecting the fullness of a child’s imagination and opening the heart to bravery, ingenuity, exploration, generous self-sacrifice, and a future of infinite possibilities.

But there is much more in this delightful book. Francisco and Gabriel’s Blue Moon Adventure is a tool for caring adults who know the change we seek in our decadent times is always contained, like a magical seed, in the innocence and pure joy every child brings into the world at birth. Good men and women never give up hope for a better world. They never say: “There is nothing I can do!” because they know that planting and nourishing a fertile seed has the potential to restore our earthly garden. All we need do is allow the seed of innocence to grow. With love and guidance, that is what Francisco and Gabriel’s Blue Moon Adventure helps us do.

Every child comes in this world with a hunger for life and beauty. The reading of great literature helps satisfy this hunger. Reflecting back to our youth, we adults may fondly remember the joy of looking at the pictures in our first books, be they multi-colored flowers or the menagerie of earthly creatures like kittens, puppies, crickets, and birds. Wise discrimination in selecting enriching stories plays an important role in the development of a healthy, open mind and character. 

Francisco and Gabriel’s Blue Moon Adventure is a celebration of nature’s power, kindled by family love and fantastic events. The path of the mythical blue albatross into endless space and infinite time beckons children to follow the bird’s flight with their own inner eyes into realms beyond the heavens. Uncle Rico, Francisco and Gabriel’s confidant, while imparting his knowledge of winds, clouds, and the sea, about rudders and sails, provides – rather than today’s ridicule and distain between adults and children – the example of generational sharing and respect. The protective character of the older brother, Francisco, toward his younger brother Gabriel illustrates – rather than today’s competition and bullying – the kind of loving relationship siblings need to cultivate as they grow into adults.

The Glossary of Nautical Terms offers an easy way for parents and teachers to teach children the power of a robust vocabulary.

Good literature is one of the best gifts to give others. Tales like The Little Prince, Winnie the Pooh, and Pinocchio are still enjoyed by adults because these books perennially reinforce the universal truths that have inspired generations to not only develop and appreciate the arts, but to foster healthy attitudes toward the dignity of life, the importance of mental and spiritual liberty, and respect for one another.

By giving Francisco and Gabriel’s Blue Moon Adventure to a child you love, you will be remembered as the generous giver whose gift will endure in many family bookshelves and libraries for a long, long time to come. 

Heart greetings, 

Viktoria Vidali

P.S. Your personal review of the book on will be a great gift to the author and illustrator. Kindle edition also available. Spanish/English edition coming soon. 

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Mr. Shipley's Governess

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A thrilling ride from the first page…


Armageddon and the 4th Timeline by Don Mardak is a thrilling ride from the first page.  This science fiction novel combines time travel, spiritual themes, a fascinating mix of characters and modern intrigue to create an ‘un-put-down-able’ novel.


We meet the CIA Director, Scott Cunningham, a former Navy SEAL, and his Assistant Lori Colbert, addressing a meeting after a terrible terrorists attacks.  We also meet husband and wife Kathy and Eric who are in Lhasa, Tibet, on a spiritual quest.  Through Eric's time travel, both worlds intersect.  Mardak's premise throughout the novel is that there "is a spiritual universe, and mankind has the ability to rise into a higher level of consciousness where all conflicts can be resolved peacefully without resorting to wars, or threatening a nuclear holocaust.”


Mardak's Armageddon and the 4th Timeline is a science fiction novel, containing elements of time travel.  It is set in 'the Present' with a clear aim of trying to reconcile what is happening.  There is a definite sense of good and bad in the novel.  Mardak’s fascinating use of the scriptural characters of Paul and Silas to both examine Christianity, and to change the future, is an amazing read.  How Mardak structures the novel is particularly well done, so that the ending is both satisfying, works in a science fiction way, and races to the finish, all at once.


The novel examines the various tenets of a number of the main religions (Christianity, Tibetan Buddhism, and Judaism) using them as plot devices: e.g. Paul's Missionary Journey.  This exploration of religion is quite a wild ride, but worth it.


The first third of the novel introduces us to the characters: to the CIA, the issues related to Eric and Kathy, and to the Himalayan mystic Shimahn.  This first third also introduces broader geopolitical issues, as well as setting up the 'four dimensional world of space time'.  In the second section of the novel the actual time travel begins. We see its effects from Eric's point of view. He is an interested participant.  In this section Mardak makes good use of structure to make his point, but also to move the plot along.  The last third of the novel brings everything together: the time changes and the new ideas and perspectives.  There is an ending which is in some ways surreal, and which is beautifully realised.


One of the main themes of this book is religion.  It's a fascinating book because I believe many people see Religions as having "Truths" and this novel certainly plays with some of those.  Anyone who believes that the Bible is the written word of God will have a difficult time with this novel.  That said, it is far from Mr. Mardak's aim to make anyone annoyed about this.  I feel, quite the contrary.


The novel discuses time travel and how it can save the world.  What difference would it make to war?  Mardak also asks what kind of world are we creating?  How do we cause and prevent nuclear holocaust?  Armageddon and the 4th Timeline is also about an attitude of helping and working together to create change.


The relationships that are explored in the novel illustrate personal growth and caring.  Kathy and Eric, Colbert and Cunningham, Paul and Silas are all studies in how we see, how we relate, and how we can change.  The focus in Armageddon and the 4th Timeline is how this happens.


A minor quibble about the characters is the character of Kathy.  I didn't feel that she had very much to say for herself, and was a little too passive for my liking. Eric, however, is well written and his relationship with Kathy is nicely drawn.  The CIA group are depicted as a good bunch.  They sounded quite different to Eric and Kathy: they were exciting and gun-ho.  They were well drawn.


The scenes in the desert were particularly evocative and the relationships depicted there, though brief, remind the reader that some of the central ideas of the novel are relationship and awareness.  The different families in the desert remind the reader that families have many different shapes.  In terms of diversity and families there are a range of families: Lori Colbert is a divorced mother, Kathy and Eric have been married seven years and there are the families in the Sinai desert.  There is also the relationships between Shimahn and Eric and Kathy, and between Paul and Silas.  Mardak also emphasises diversity by depicting various religions and mixing those religions in unique ways.


This novel runs along at a fast, fast pace.  At times it fairly gallops.  It has fantastic ideas about time and space and makes the reader think.


Armageddon and the 4th Timeline has a thoughtful purpose, but is highly readable and action packed.  Mardak's plot is well structured and he makes good use of characters.  From the first “gloomy Thursday in Langley…” (Ch. 1) I wanted to read on, to find out what was happening, what was going on.  The science fiction genre makes a twist with a spectacularly good ending.  I am happy to rate this novel as 4.5 out of five stars. (Armageddon and the 4th Timeline Book ed.) (Armageddon and the 4th Timeline Kindle ed.) (Don Mardak Facebook Author Page) (Don Mardak Web Page)

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