Introducing Published Author Fred Preiss’s Book Video Trailer for “Country Singer”

The last thing 70-year-old Ed expects when he offers Kristen a ride is to have his life entangled with that of a wannabe country singer.

An odd and unlikely friendship ensues between two strangers on a long road trip. Ed, diagnosed with a terminal illness, is trying to escape his impending demise, and Kristen, 22, her rotten past. After hearing her heartbreaking story, Ed decides to help her emotionally and financially and even agrees to drive her to Las Vegas, where she hopes to make it big. Along the way, Kristen makes a great impression at several karaoke bars, and eventually catches a break in Vegas when she meets Sid, a big-time country music manager looking for a new face. After arranging for Kristen to do a special performance at the hottest nightclub in Vegas, Sid signs her on and guarantees her mega-stardom. Kristen eagerly accepts Sid’s strategy to bypass “paying her dues” and subjects her body and soul to a grueling rehearsal schedule of twelve-hour days. Amazed by Kristen’s dogged determination, Sid sets up a six-city tour, which is an enormous success, making Kristen an overnight sensation. But joy sometimes has an unwelcome component, and Kristen’s happiness is overshadowed by Ed’s deteriorating condition, just as she’s reaching mega-stardom.

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Boulder Girl and Curious – Two Indie Book Awards Finalists

If you are looking for some fresh and original reads from independent authors, you might want to check out the Indie Book Awards, also known as the Next Generation Indie Book Awards. This is a literary awards program that recognizes and honors authors and publishers of exceptional independently published books in 70 different categories. The awards are presented by the Independent Book Publishing Professionals Group in cooperation with the Allen O’Shea Literary Agency.

Among the finalists for the 2023 awards are two books from Outskirts Press.

Boulder Girl: Bad Moon Rising by Cynthia L. Clark

This is a thriller that follows the lives of Lana Ross, a young woman who is suffering from a devastating loss, and Leon Alvarez, a murderer and escaped convict who is obsessed with her. Leon will stop at nothing to get close to Lana, even if it means committing more crimes and risking his freedom. Lana, on the other hand, must find a way to heal from her grief and move on with her life, unaware of the danger that lurks in the shadows.

The book is peppered with rock songs that accompany the mood and tone of the story, creating a soundtrack that enhances the reading experience. The author also uses vivid descriptions and realistic dialogues to create a suspenseful atmosphere that keeps the reader hooked until the end. The book explores themes such as love, loss, obsession, redemption, and justice.

Curious: Are My Stories About Morals? by Peggy Jo Henry

This is a collection of short stories and poems with a twist. The author tackles various topics such as suicide, mental illness, environmental issues, addiction, and obsession, using a mix of humor, sarcasm, and insight. The stories are also puzzles that challenge the reader to find hidden movie and song titles within the text. There are over a thousand references to popular culture that can be spotted in everyday language.

The author also adds another layer of mystery by revealing that she has eight similarities with a famous Oscar-nominated actor, who is somehow connected to her book. She provides clues throughout the book to help the reader identify him and see how their lives intertwine. The book is a fun and engaging way to test one’s knowledge and curiosity while reading some thought-provoking stories.

Author Poll: Yvonne Hilton wants your help with her cover in a Survey Poll

Yvonne Hilton is self-publishing a book with Outskirts Press, and wants your help deciding her upcoming book cover.

Book Summary:

Peter has run away twice. This time the overseer on the large estate farm in colonial New York decides to use his cat-o-nine-tails on the slave to teach a more thorough lesson. His 12 year old apprentice, Martin Tucker is horrified, but grows to learn the useful application of whipping for the most serious offenses, like running. After all, he is the only white person on the place.
Sally is a 14 year old black girl newly arrived on the farm. Tucker, now thirty, chooses her to become his mistress. Sally is still a virgin when Tucker becomes her first sexual encounter. She however, already loves another slave, 16 year old Lemuel, with whom she’d grown up and who was purchased along with her.
Over the next few years, Tucker impregnates Sally with five babies in quick succession but none of them can belong to either him or her, since she is the property of the absentee owner of the farm and he is just an employee.
However, unbeknownst to the overseer, Sally eventually figures out a way to meet her lover Lemuel. And she manages to give birth to Polly, Lemuel’s child. The first five children resemble Tucker in coloring. Polly, on the other hand is dark-skinned, like her mother and father.

A dangerous situation has been created – how to hide the existence of this child from Tucker.

About the Author:

I was an assistant principal/supervisor of English. In my 32 years of teaching, my profession kept me constantly analyzing and dissecting literature, looking for the points of connection that made works come to life for high school students. Yet, for me, as a reader, it was always history, the events going on behind the narrative in a piece that held the real fascination. In 1972, I began to write short stories about fictional characters living during the eighteenth and nineteenth century. I began researching urban and rural slavery in New York with information from Dr. Sherrill Wilson, an urban anthropologist and learned about the actual day-to-day experiences of enslaved people during the 1700s. When this novel began to unfold in my mind, the lives of the people, as revealed by the excavations of the graves at the African Burial Ground motivated many of the events in the story.

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Author Poll: Frederick Munch wants your help with his cover in a Survey Poll

Frederick Munch is self-publishing a book with Outskirts Press, and wants your help deciding his upcoming book cover.

Book Summary:

Are you doubting God’s existance? If there is a God would He really have time to listen to your problems and requests?

In reading “Searching for my Faith,” you will come to understanad you are not alone. What does God really expect from us? Does God punish us for ignoring Him and His commandments? You will learn how the author began to build his faith with the focus more on what God’s purpose is for us.

A twenty-nine year veteran of police work, the author describes the daily struggles of policing and the constant battle he endured with the question of faith. Does God really exist? Why do good people get hurt?

Share his experiences, and come to learn how he overcame adversity, tragedy, and guilt. Most importantly was how he eventually found contentment and an inner peace.

If you have questions concerning spirituality and are looking for some direction, “This book is for you.”

Or simply- if you ever thought about being a cop, you may want to read this first!

About the Author:

Fred is retired after seving twenty-nine years in Law Enforcement. He has experience in serving with both a State and Municipal agency. Twenty-five of those years were spent as a street cop assigned to the Patrol Division, and worked as a Patrol Street Supervisor. He served his last four years assigned to the Detective Division as a Sergeant investigating all types of crime including Juvenile offences. Fred is most thankful for the opportunity to serve his hometown community for so many years. He now enjoys spending most of his time with his six grandchildren.

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Author Poll: David Gottstein wants your help with his cover in a Survey Poll

David Gottstein is self-publishing a book with Outskirts Press, and wants your help deciding his upcoming book cover.

Book Summary:

A More Perfect Union- Unifying Ideas for a Divided America

We are a divided country, but we don’t have to be. A More Perfect Union-Unifying Ideas for a Divided America is the essential guide for a polarized country. Author David Gottstein has identified the most pressing issues that Americans must address to prosper at home and abroad. More importantly, he offers common sense solutions that will unite Americans regardless of their politics. Imagine solutions that provide enough water and energy for generations, leaving a cleaner planet in return. Imagine a way to end unemployment and welfare as we know it. Gottstein shares a vision of America where success is based on how hard you work and not where you were born. If you are looking to be inspired by an America that can be, you have found the right book. Read it, share it, and add your voice to A More Perfect Union.

About the Author:

David Gottstein is President of Dynamic Capital Management with a degree in Economics and Finance from the Wharton School. He has been a political activist working behind the scenes, in a bi-partisan role for more than 40 years. He was the founder of Backbone, a political action alliance of Republicans and Democrats, dedicated to finding common ground.

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Author Poll: Don Provance, Jr. wants your help with his cover in a Survey Poll

Don Provance, Jr.  is self-publishing a book with Outskirts Press, and wants your help deciding his upcoming book cover.

Book Summary:

JIMMY is the perfect story for anyone searching for the love to accept themselves or the grace to forgive.  A terrible accident carries Jimmy and his father down different forks in the river.  While Jimmy refuses to be defined by his new physical limitations, his father struggles with emotional wounds that threaten to consume him.  Through Jimmy’s eyes we see the immense natural beauty of the Ozarks and we remember that friends bring joy to life and soften the pain of loss.  Jimmy is the caring, emotionally brave hero we all need.  JIMMY is a baseball story, a tale from the Ozarks, and a slave for the soul.

About the Author:

Don is a lifelong resident of the Missouri Ozarks where he still lives with his wife Susan.  They have three children, Laura, Jana and Michael and two grandchildren, Jackson and Camryn.  Don enjoys spending most of his free time in the outdoors of the region either at the lake, floating down the James, or hiking through one of the forests that make up the region.  It is from these outdoor settings that he attains the inspiration for most of his stories.

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Staying at Home or Headed to the Beach? Check out our List of Summer Must Reads!

Despite an unusually eventful spring, we have officially made it to the first days of summer! June 20th marks the summer solstice, and with summer comes a wave of new feelings and new hopes comes rolling in. The damp and chilly days of spring give way to sunshine and a need for new reading material, whether the celebrated “beach read,” a stunning debut, an insightful nonfiction work, or all of the above and more. What’s more, you can also celebrate the work of self-published authors at the same time! We have just the book for you … for all of you … in our recommendations, below.

Science Fiction

Where the Moon Stood Still: From the Janus Project Files
by Brad Anderson

EVVY (Nominee)

IPPY Award (Recipient)

With tech billionaires making the news seemingly every other day, we can’t think of a more fitting book to kick off our list than When the Moon Stood Still, a book which blends aerospace technology with a good thrill, and then adds a good dash of science fiction.


Full Circle
by Richard Ellis Shaw

NGIBA (Finalist)

EVVY (Nominee)

If you’re looking less cosmic and somewhat closer to home, you might consider Richard Ellis Shaw’s Full Circle, which tracks a couple moving through life together and apart, navigating personal troubles from college to adulthood.

Short Stories

Short Stories of Life, Love, and Remembrance
by Alexander Rassogianis

EVVY (Nominee)

Rassogianis’ short stories are special, but you might already have guessed that from this collection’s CIPA EVVY Award nomination. It includes sixteen globetrotting gems, each one packed with feeling and emotion, covering everything from childhood to old age. This is a book worth saving.


Conquering Life’s Course: Common Sense in Chaotic Times
by Richard V. Battle

Reader Views Literary Awards (First Place Winner in Self-Help Category)

EVVY (Nominee)

Is common sense really all that common? In Conquering Life’s Course, Richard Battle delivers some extremely timely suggestions for navigating life’s many challenges (which right now seem more challenging than ever). This is a practical book for those looking to take some concrete steps toward realizing a more fulfilling life.

Romance (Fiction)

Too Late the Homecoming: A Gambler’s Love Story
by Fred Preiss

EVVY (Nominee)

What could be more romantic than a gambler going straight for the first time in twenty-five years? A love triangle gone wrong, that’s what! Too Late the Homecoming includes deft notes of the thriller genre, all while diving deep into the complexities of a love come … well … late. But is it too late?

Mystery (Fiction)

A Tale of Deceit: A Veronica Howard Vintage Mystery
by E. J. Gandolfo
(Book Three in the Veronica Howard Vintage Mystery series)

EVVY (Nominee)

The third book in the Veronica Howard Vintage Mystery series, A Tale of Deceit takes readers back to a small seaside town north of Boston to the vintage antique shop owned by a now-imperiled Veronica Howard. Not everything is as it seems as she and her boyfriend Harry Hunt set out to solve a repeat robbery mystery. The glittering world of Art Deco Boston and rich descriptions of both setting and clothing lend this series an edge over the competition. If you’ve watched and liked Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, or are in general a fan of strong women in fine clothes taking on the role of a detective, this is a must-read series!

Action & Adventure (Fiction)

Life in the Morgue
by Lance Anderson

EVVY (Nominee)

The morgue turns out to be a fair bit livelier than Greg Benson expected when he took a position as a morgue technician. Murders, strange accidents, and ghosts are just a few of the many hazards he must face if he’s to survive his job, and author Lance Anderson knows what he’s writing about, having worked in a medical examiner’s office for six years, in which time he handled 2,000 cases. (That’s a lot of cases.) With two movie scripts in production, Anderson’s name is one to watch.

Fantasy (Fiction)

Rise of Serpents
by B. A. Vonsik
(Book Three in the Primeval Origins Epic Saga)

Reader Views Literary Award (Honorable Mention)

EVVY (Nominee)

With rave reviews from both Reader Views and Kirkus, the Primeval Origins Saga has collectively won dozens of awards, with Rise of Serpents serving as finalist or winner for 15 of those dozens. As is true for our other series, we recommend either catching up on the latest addition to the series or digging in for the first time. Those who love complicated, conceptually unique fantasy that interrogates very real concerns will love Vonsik’s ambition and scope.

Thriller (Fiction)

Special Means
by Andrew Ceroni

Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year Awards
(this author is a three-time winner!)

Another author who knows what he’s about is Andrew Ceroni, whose latest book, Special Means, promises to be a worthy addition to his already repeatedly-award-winning backlist of previous titles. This story follows CIA Agent Dave McClure as he’s dispatched to Denver to determine who is taking out organized street games with suspiciously advanced weaponry. What he discovers places his own life, the President’s life, and the future of the entire country at risk. Thrilling and timely, this is not one to miss.

Biography & Autobiography (Adventurers & Explorers)

Old Man on a Bicycle: A Ride Across America and How to Realize a More Enjoyable Old Age
Don Petterson

Multiple Five-Star Reviews on Amazon

Like many before him, Don Petterson felt the lure of the American West. Unlike many before him, Petterson decided to do so by bicycle. In Old Man on a Bicycle, readers join Petterson on his 3,600 mile journey from New Hampshire to the California coast, enjoying stunning vistas and thoughtful reflections on what it means to be an aging person on a cross-country cycling trip, warts and all. This is a lovely, compelling autobiographical read to fill your summer with inspiration and encouragement.

Leadership (Non-Fiction)

Rise of the Gig Leaders: Why Interim Leaders Are Vital In Today’s Organizations
by Neil Grant

Multiple Five-Star Reviews on Amazon

Speaking of topical experts, Neil Grant is another author worth keeping an eye on. As owner of Focal Leadership, LLC, he and his company consult with leaders in key strategic positions who are in need of their skills in organization development. Rise of the Gig Leaders reflects his expertise, chronicling and explaining the notion of gig economics in language understandable to those not already in the know. What does this project-based, results-oriented world have to say and do in respect to more traditional economics? What opportunities does it offer? Grant is here to tell us exactly what and how gig leaders do what they do.

This may not be just another summer, but then … these is not just another list! These books represent the intersection of high-quality self-publishing options and some of the most exceptional, compelling, and immersive reads that you could pick up this summer. There’s always something exciting happening in the Outskirts Press Bookstore, where you can find all of the titles we’ve mentioned here today, and more, for sale online. And if you haven’t yet published a book yourself, there’s never a better time than now to inquire. Visit us online at, where you can chat with a Publishing Consultant!


Author Poll: The Layman, the writer of the narrative: Poignant Letter to My Fellow Americans, wants your help with his cover in a Survey Poll

The Layman is self-publishing a book with Outskirts Press, and wants your help deciding his upcoming book cover.

Book Summary:

The Layman is introducing a fascinating interpretation of the Founding Fathers ultimate intent to answer an age-old question with the designing the Constitution of the United States, by providing a provocative series of narratives.  The first of the series of narratives proffers an informed look at some of the key sufficiencies and insufficiencies of the components that have led the People of the Union to the edge of an abyss, that will cost the Body of the Whole of the People of the Union to lose what maybe the greatest Democracy ever founded on this globe. And also endeavors to give an adequate answer to all the counterarguments which shall make their appearance, that may seem to have any claim to the readers attention.

For upon answering that age-old question, the Founding Fathers provided the Body of the Whole of the People of the Union with the answer to that age-old question and the much-needed Key to the balance between our Liberties and the Power endowed in the Government. The Layman points out clearly, that which provides for and is meant to guides the Moral Conscience and Course of the Nation.

Follow this modern-day profound narrative provided by the greatest Oracle of Wisdom: Experience, and enunciated by the Layman, as he points out the three intricate bonds held between the Body of the Whole of the People, which are wholly linked to the bonds established by the Constitution, as he ask poignant questions, to be answered deep in the hearts of every individual, all of whom form the greatest resource of the Union.

About the Author:

The Layman has spent 30-year of his life in military service to the Nation with the United States Army, defending the instrument that forms the Foundation Bedrock of the American Democratic Society.  This is his passionate heartfelt letter to the Whole of the People of the Perpetual Union of States, Territories and Possession, expressing his belief that a great multifaceted and monumental danger, now threatens the very instrument that provides for the Freedom and Liberties of the Whole of the People that have consented to be Governed, that have granted the Power endowed in the Federal Government.  This is his unwavering attempt to hold the line at the bridgehead of Freedom, a beacon long-ago provided to the world by the Founding Fathers.

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Our Top Picks for Autism Awareness & Acceptance Month!

Much has been said and written about Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the decades since it was first codified in medical literature, but one thing remains true: the people with the most to say about it are often the ones with the fewest resources, the least support, and the most to lose. That is, those who are themselves on the Autism spectrum or who live with someone else who is. One of the finer aspects of self-publishing is that this industry has a special relationship with the ASD community and is able to provide a platform for those all-important voices to be heard, as well as amplify their stories.

Here at Outskirts Press, we would like to celebrate our thriving community of authors, many of whom are members of the larger ASD community or otherwise neurodivergent! This month, the month of April, is widely known as Autism Awareness Month by those affiliated with the ASD community, and is increasingly coming to be known as Autism Acceptance Month by those who place on the Autism spectrum themselves. Both aspects–that is, awareness about ASD and its potential presentations, as well as acceptance of those on the Autism spectrum–are incredibly important, as is the work done by self-publishing authors dedicated to them. This is one of many reasons we’re excited to shine some light on those of our authors who are writing on this subject!

For a treatment-centered approach, consider prolific Soma Mukhopadhyay’s Understanding Autism through Rapid Prompting Method and all the other fascinating and helpful books in her series. They all center on the rapid-prompting method (RPM) mentioned in this book’s title, with the particular goal of improving academic success and communication for persons with ASD or similar disorders. The whole series is published by Outskirts Press and each one is available for purchase through the Helping Autism Through Learning and Outreach (HALO) website, which also offers a number of additional ASD-related resources, or from her webpages or from Amazon, of course.

Meet Mansah Gaisie Barnes’ fantastic book for readers of all ages, Yooku My Brother / The Enigma: Autism. Barnes puts her Master of Science degree in special education with a concentration in Autism to work in this special look at the effects of ASD on the individual as well as the joy that results from learning to understand those on the Autism spectrum. This book uses a fictional protagonist to guide readers through the experience, and backs up its conclusions with accessible research phrased in language we can all understand.

Author John Dukes is changing lives. His son, John Jr., passed away in 2016 after living with Autism Spectrum Disorder. In his latest book, Dadders, Can I Pet the Whales?, Dukes takes readers on an emotional journey through the story of his family and the story of his son, whose take on life and the world is both powerful and life-changing. We interviewed Dukes as his book began to receive public recognition.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) roughly 1 in 68 children has been identified with some form of ASD, and these are only the children whose placement on the Autism spectrum requires some form of treatment, educational assistance, or special care. The real numbers, which would include children who are considered “high-functioning” and who face fewer obstacles to self-determined success, are likely much higher. As activist and parent Kim Stagliano writes, those within the ASD community “need advocates committed not only to getting them the acceptance they deserve, but also the critical help they require to survive, in the form of social programs, education, safety and employment opportunities.” In short, they need action. Learning more about ASD and taking tangible action to help support those who live with ASD, research it, or are working to ameliorate the challenges it poses to those who have it, is paramount.

If you’re interested in learning more about Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in general, we highly recommend you check out our Pinterest page of ASD-related books published by Outskirts Press. Sometimes, buying a book can help change lives. These are some of those books!

7 Tips on How to Ditch Bad Habits and Start Good Ones in the New Year

Habits, once formed, never go away. They are the outcome of old decisions, and they can be changed, but only through new decisions and choices. Habits aren’t necessarily bad; they make our lives easier and more predictable by removing the necessity of thinking about every detail of our daily existence. They let us execute our actions efficiently, freeing up our prefrontal cortex to express itself creatively and intellectually.

But sometimes bad habits can creep in and good habits can be so very difficult to cultivate. As we start out a new year with fresh resolutions, it seems the appropriate time to get advice on keeping those resolutions by forming healthy and productive habits.

Enter self-published Outskirts Press author Dr. Sylvie Heyman.

Although initially Dr. Heyman specialized in weight management and life style changes, she has expanded her area of expertise to other habits that affect body, mind and spirit. Here, she offers other writers and self-publishing authors like herself advice on how to stay on track in the new year. This information and much more is available in her book, Make It a HABIT!

How do habits form? A habit cue or trigger could be a specific time of day, a location, other people, emotions or other things that lead to a predictable response, or reward. With repetition, our responses to triggers become automatic and a habit is born. Motivation may get us started, but habit keeps us going.

If your resolution in the new year is to get published, Dr. Sylvie can help with these seven tips for identifying habits that might be holding you back, or establishing new ones that will move you forward:

  1. Be aware and mindful. We can’t change what we don’t acknowledge, right? Observe your habits, good and bad — write them down if that helps. Be honest with yourself about your habits, good and bad.
  2. Assess yourself. Ask yourself which habit you want to change or acquire first and why you want it. Think about how the habit you wish to change (or the one you wish to acquire) affects or will affect you and others.
  3. Be accountable. Share your habit change with someone. This makes you accountable for that change until you can ingrain new habits or break bad ones. Confide in another writer, a spouse, coworker or another reliable and honest confident.
  4. Make small changes, one at a time. Concentrate on establishing small habits until they become second nature, then move onto the next small change. If your habit is to get distracted when you’re supposed to be writing, first change the habit of turning on the TV or radio. Once you’ve broken that habit, move on to, say, writing for just 10 minutes straight to get the feel for focusing.
  5. Test your willpower — but not too much! When willpower is applied in small increments at a time, when you are energetic and ready to take on a little challenge, willpower becomes stronger. Practice willpower in small steps until it becomes a habit — until it’s automatic.
  6. Trick your triggers. Practice breaking the associations between bad habits and their triggers. The aforementioned habit of letting media distract you is a good example. Break the association between writing and watching TV by moving to a different room or chair during your writing session.
  7. Give it time. There are many theories about how long it takes to form or break a habit, ranging from a few weeks to years! Use 30 days as a guidepost, but know that some deeply ingrained habits will take much longer to break, and new habits without awareness, accountability and practice will take some time to take hold.


Want to learn more? In Make It a HABIT! Dr. Sylvie Heyman provides a different perspective on how habits can affect your body, mind and spirit. Through personal stories, case studies and a compilation of best practices for change, you can learn how to get rid of habits that are sabotaging your health, job, relationships and overall happiness.


Dr. Sylvie Heyman has extensive background in traditional and non- traditional healthcare practices and has incorporated health coaching in all her careers. She specialized in Obstetrics and later on headed the Open Heart Surgery Unit at prestigious St. Francis Hospital in Roslyn, New York. She earned her Doctor of Chiropractic in 1989 and her degree in Acupuncture in 1998. She served 12 years as a member of the Board of Trustees of the New York Chiropractic College and delivered a Commencement address during that period. Dr. Heyman is a certified Feng Shui Consultant, a certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant (AFPA), a certified Senior Fitness Specialist (NASM) and Silver Sneakers Instructor.