Monday, 30 April 2012

The Diary Of A Student Midwife

"Journal of a Student Midwife" by Ellie Ryan

Candid diary documenting the reality of being a student midwife

Ever since she had her own children in her early twenties, Ellie Ryan was determined to become a midwife - 'the best job in the world'! After her children started school, Ellie began the demanding training she needed to achieve her ambition.

Ellie kept a blog-style journal throughout her training; the result combines laughter and friendship with poignant reminders that life is never as simple as we would like it to be. There are high points as Ellie takes steps towards reaching her goal; gaining confidence in her profession and helping women bring their babies into the world.

On the other hand, Ellie worries that she will never have what it takes to become 'a proper midwife' and feels terrible guilt about the detrimental effect her pursuit of this career could be having on her family. This real-life story provides an intimate and candid account of the author's journey towards becoming a midwife and the struggle to balance her professional and family life.

After being made redundant from her job in a call-centre, Ellie Ryan decided she would return to college to train as a nurse. After working as a nurse for a year she returned to university in order to achieve her dream of becoming a midwife. Ellie is now a practising midwife.

31st May 2012.  £12.99 Paperback.  ISBN 978-1-84624-708-8
  • This real-life blog-style journal will appeal to student midwives and the midwifery and nursing professions, plus women in general who will identify with the pressures of combining work and home life
  • Candid account of midwifery training and the workings of the profession
  • Working wife and mother balancing the demands of her career with those of her young family

The Oracle of Life: a sci-fi book for children of all ages, bringing together extraordinary powers of the mind, a holographic playground and the return of long sworn enemies in one explosive adventure story.

Thirteen-year-old Julius McCoy is about to start his second year at Tijara Academy, in the Zed Lunar Perimeter. With the threat of the Arneshians averted for the moment, he can get on with the important part of his school life: developing his rare mind-skills.

Of course, what any student on Zed looks forward to most is competing in games in the Hologram Palace. But who is the mysterious lady hidden in one of the games? 

An encounter with her will set in motion an exciting and dangerous treasure hunt that will give him a whole new perspective on the real history of Zed, and ultimately beyond to a shocking truth that could jeopardise the safety of everyone he holds dear.
When an old enemy returns, it becomes clear that the Arneshians are back with a new plan for taking over Zed and seizing control of Earth. As the pieces of the puzzle fall into place, and he is drawn towards a climactic showdown, it will take all of Julius’s mind-skills as he is forced into a deadly final confrontation.

The Tijaran Tales series brings the complex genre of science fiction easily within grasp for readers of all ages. The books look at the trials of growing up, the joy of friendship and the need to stand up for what's right, as seen through the eyes of a particularly unique group of children.

A sample chapter from Tijaran Tales: The Oracle of Life is available to read at:

Francesca Tristan Barbini was born in 1976 and raised in Rome, Italy. After years of volunteer work around the world, she completed an MA Honours in Religious Studies, focusing on the Ancient Near East and the Dead Sea Scrolls. She currently teaches R.E. in a Scottish high school.

Her free time is divided between family and writing children's novels. An active member of the Tolkien Society, she also runs a kinship on Lord of the Rings Online. Barbini is currently working on the third instalment of her Tijaran Talesseries.


Imprint: Bright Pen
Published: 02/04/12
ISBN (Paperback editions): 978-0-7552-1440-2
eBook Download Price: £3.95
PaperBack Purchase Price: £7.99

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Is employment red tape preventing growth? HR expert thinks not

Happy Working Relationships cover
Happy Working Relationships
In recent months, there have been calls from ministers and influential MPs to reduce employees’ legal protection and create a “Hire and Fire” culture as a way to boost economic growth.

But experienced HR consultant and businessman Simon Jones believes the real issue for many businesses, charities and social enterprises is a lack of knowledge of employment regulations and an incorrect assumption that the law prevents them from running their business effectively.

In his recently published book, Happy Working Relationships – the small business guide to managing people and employment law he argues that employers who behave in a positive manner will achieve greater staff motivation and business success.

Simon says: ‘There are plenty of business owners and managers who’re terrified at the idea of staff issues. Words like “TUPE”, “constructive dismissal” and “tribunal” strike fear into the hearts of many bosses, but most of the time there’s nothing to fear if you make sure you follow a few simple guidelines, use some common sense and exercise a bit of compassion. The book’s designed to demystify some of those scary HR terms and make sure employers get the best out of their most valuable assets – their employees.

‘There are plenty of books about finance and marketing for small business owners and charity managers,’ says Simon, ‘but not very much about this so-called – but vital – “soft skill”.’

Caroline Hinds, HR and Operations Manager of Creative England described the book as “A very clear outline of the working relationship process, with a very clever use of analogies to ensure clear understanding rather than confusing legal jargon. I’d recommend this book to anyone who has preconceptions of employees having the ultimate right in holding a business to ransom. It explains that a positive approach to people management in always the best option”

While HR Zone, the online HR magazine, commented “it provides a common sense view of all aspects of recruiting, managing, employing and ultimately dismissing staff... concise and extremely readable”. The book has also been featured nationally by the Federation of Small Business in their “First Voice” magazine.

Happy Working Relationships – the small business guide to managing people and employment law is published by Wordscapes, ISBN number 978-0-9566344-3-6, and is available online, or via Amazon, priced at £12.99. It is also available as an e-book from Amazon, iTunes, Waterstones and other leading e-book retailers (RRP £6.99).

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

New books shows that treating yourself like a brand can create a ‘Brand New You’

Brand New You: Reinventing Work, Life & Self through the Power of Personal Branding


Published by Hay House on 7th May, £10.99. Also available as an ebook.

A unique guide explaining what personal branding is and how to brand yourself professionally and personally to create a new you from one of the UK’s best-known experts on brands and personal development.

In an increasingly tough jobs market and an ever more competitive world in general, it is more vital than ever to stand out from the crowd to get the most from the opportunities given to us. UK expert on branding and personal development Simon Middleton’s answer to this: create a killer personal brand.

This is not a prescriptive business book that will explain how to swot-up for an interview or merely improve your CV, instead Middleton shows you that by examining your story, finding your strategy, paying heed to your audiences and establishing a ‘brand’, you really can build a ‘brand new you’.

Middleton promises that by creating a strong personal brand you will improve your prospects at work (and might just get that promotion!), stand out dramatically from the crowd and secure the job you really want, and even improve your prospects in finding a romantic partner.

Offering a fascinating glimpse into the art of successful company branding and marketing strategy, and then applying it to the individual reader, Middleton shares his expertise so that by the end of this book you’ll be thinking about yourself like the CEO of a global company thinks about their business. In the process you’ll be on your way to developing your killer personal brand, developing your own marketing strategy and achieving ambitions which previously seemed out of reach.

This book shows you how to build your personal brand and create a new you by explaining:

- How to turn ambition and dreams into a personal brand strategy
- How to identify the competitors to your personal brand and how to stand
out from the crowd.
- Strategies for ‘positioning’ yourself to best promote your personal brand
- How to craft your personal brand story and ‘sell’ yourself
- How to bring your personal brand to life in everything that you do, to build an authentic, distinctive and compelling brand ‘identity’.

Explaining what personal branding is and full of examples of how people have successfully created their personal brand – from Reggae Reggae Sauce entrepreneur Levi Roots to model turned charity-campaigner, Katie Piper – this book is a unique insight into creating a new you.

Simon Middleton is one of the UK’s leading brand consultant and an expert on branding and a highly-experienced reinventor. His consultancy firm Brand Strategy Guru advises organisations and individuals all over the world and Simon has appeared on BBC Newsnight, BBC Breakfast, Bloomberg, Sky and CNN to discuss brand stories. He is the author of popular business books Build a
Brand in 30 Days and What You Need to Know About Marketing.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

New Book Is a Love Letter to Berkeley, California

Jack McLaughlin wears his heart on his sleeve and his heart says ‘Berkeley’.

Readers diving in to Jack McLaughlin’s mR. bERZERKELEY: The Naked Mayor of Berkeley (published by iUniverse) are sure to gather one thing off the bat: McLaughlin loves Berkeley.

“I wanted to create a series that expresses my love for Berkeley, Berkeley citizens, Berkeley institutions, Berkeley lore, Berkeley mythology and memories of the '60s and provides insights into situations and conflicts faced by a multitude of individuals in a humorous, light-read atmosphere,” says McLaughlin about his new book.

In mR. bERZERKELEY McLaughlin paints a vivid satire as he brings the '60s into the 21st century. Featuring a mythical, naked mayor and a cadre of fictitious boarding-house characters in political, controversial, sexual and mysterious conflicts, the high-flying spoof is sure to keep even non-Baby Boomers in fits of laughter.

 At the centre of the story is Jim Sain, a pompous, naked, free thinker, who is also the mayor of Berkeley. The mayor has been dubbed “mR. bERZERKELEY” by a cartoonist who is determined to embarrass the incumbent and undermine his bid for re-election.

Through this humorous take, McLaughlin hopes readers are both entertained and intrigued. “I hope readers develop an understanding of political controversies and influences, growing pains of young people attending higher education away from home, struggles of individuals facing extreme hardships caused by others and the attitude that there are possible solutions to all conflicts.”

About the Author Jack McLaughlin’s love for Berkeley – its citizens and its past, present and future – inspired him to invite others to experience a taste of another city by the bay. Now a resident of Carson City, Nevada, he keeps Berkeley close to his heart and promises to keep his retreat near the “Gourmet Ghetto” .

forever. iUniverse, an Author Solutions, Inc. self-publishing imprint, is the leading book marketing, editorial services, and supported self-publishing provider. iUniverse has a strategic alliance with Indigo Books & Music, Inc. in Canada, and titles accepted into the iUniverse Rising Star program are featured in a special collection on iUniverse recognizes excellence in book publishing through the Star, Reader’s Choice, Rising Star and Editor’s Choice designations—self-publishing’s only such awards program. Headquartered in Bloomington, Indiana, iUniverse also operates offices in Indianapolis. For more information or to publish a book, please visit or call 1-800-AUTHORS. For the latest, follow @iuniversebooks on Twitter.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Random House Selects Aspera To Power Worldwide Production Of Audiobooks

Aspera, Inc., creators of next-generation software technologies that move the world's data at maximum speed, has announced Random House, the world's largest English language trade publisher, has selected Aspera for high-speed data transport and workflow automation and management. By replacing their existing transport technology and in-house workflow orchestration tools with Aspera software, Random House will shorten production cycles as they scale operations and expand distribution channels.

Random House is the leading audio publisher in the industry today, with an audiobooks library of over 2500 titles from bestselling authors available on CD and audio download. Content creation is a worldwide, collaborative operation, with voice talent, audio editing, graphic design and distribution activities dispersed across cities and across continents. Their sophisticated workflows require increasingly flexible and scalable high-speed file transport and workflow automation systems to meet their recent and future business growth.

After rigorous evaluation of available solutions, Random House chose a full suite of Aspera distribution, collaboration, and automation software products.

The deployment at Random House is centered on faspex™, a global collaboration platform based on Aspera's patented fasp™ transport technology. The software solution enables disparate groups to collaborate quickly and efficiently by exchanging files and directories of any format and size at maximum speed, regardless of transfer distance and network conditions.

"At Random House, we currently publish over 300 titles per year with content creation activities throughout the globe," said Joshua Crone, vice president, infrastructure, technical services at Random House. "We need efficient, reliable automation tools that can meet the demands of our workflows today and will allow us to scale and adapt to new requirements in the future. With Aspera, we get a full suite of solutions that accelerates almost every aspect of our highly customised workflows, giving us a key strategic advantage over other audio publishers."

Rounding up the automation, universal access and reporting requirements of the system, the following Aspera components are also included in this comprehensive software deployment:

Aspera Orchestrator for automating complex workflow sequences with a logical execution engine, a library of plug-ins for asset transformation, quality control and other functions, and an SDK for future integrations. Aspera Console for reporting, including the ability to filter reports based on metadata for fine-grained content and resource tracking. Aspera Mobile and the Aspera Add-in for Microsoft Outlook, which extend Aspera's global person-to-person file delivery to mobile devices and Outlook users. Aspera Cargo, which automatically downloads and consolidates content on a single client, keeping team members in sync with the latest files.

"With hundreds of content creators dispersed worldwide, not only do publishers like Random House need high-speed data transport, they need integrated tools to help them manage complex, proprietary workflows," said Michelle Munson, CEO and founder at Aspera. "We are excited to work with Random House as they deploy Aspera solutions for a broad range of automation, collaboration and distribution activities within the large-scale, global workflows that help make Random House a leading publisher of bestselling audiobooks."

FACTFILE:Aspera is the creator of next-generation transport technologies that move the world's data at maximum speed regardless of file size, transfer distance and network conditions. Based on its patented fasp™ protocol, Aspera software fully utilizes existing infrastructures to deliver the fastest, most predictable file-transfer experience. Aspera's core technology delivers unprecedented control over bandwidth, complete security and uncompromising reliability. More than 1,500 organisations across a variety of industries on six continents rely on Aspera software for the business-critical transport of their digital assets.

Please visit and follow us on Twitter @asperasoft for more information

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The City-State in Europe, 1000-1600

The City-State in Europe, 1000-1600 by Tom Scott is an extremely fascinating book that examines an interesting part of European history, that of the independent or semi-independent city-state.

Curiously enough although the city-states were an important part of the development of the political fabric of Europe (some might argue that echoes of these institutions still reverberate through the fabric of society down to modern times) no detailed comparison of the city-state in the medieval period of European history was undertaken within the last 100 years.

Whilst it is true research work was undertaken (and quite detailed work, too) on their role as harbingers of the modern state, their great cultural achievements and the like, little regard was paid to what might be described as the 'bigger picture', as it were.

For example, their desires for territorial expansion, how they dealt with neighbours and other city-states and so forth.

In his book Tom Scott looks beyond the normal. He looks at lesser known city-states, he examines city-states of Switzerland and looks deeply into the imperial cities of Germany.

He examines how the city-states fitted in with the rest of the regions and nations in which they existed and how they co-existed with other city states.

He has views on how the city-states worked and how they developed through time which tend to disagree with some other experts. But his analysis is extremely compelling. 

He shows that rivalries between city-states could become fraught and how alliances came and went, sometimes over periods of time, sometimes rather rapidly.

Anyone who is a student of medieval European history needs a copy of this thought-provoking and compelling book. It is academically rigorous  and extremely well researched but it is written in a very approachable style.

It is published by Oxford University Press in hardback the ISBN is 978-0-19-927460-4. It is available form the That's Books bookshop.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Wenlock Olympian Games Book Launch

Graphics and Print, the award winning Shropshire based commercial printers, are proud to have recently been chosen by Ellingham Press, the Much Wenlock based publishers, to print three books. Two of the three books are extremely timely as they have a direct link with the Olympian Games - the inspiration behind the modern Olympic movement. The third is a book of poetry featuring the current Poet Laureate.

Managing Director Martin Kells explains: “We have a strong commitment to the communities in which we operate, so to be chosen by Ellingham Press, a local firm of publishers to print these books was a real honour.

Graphics and Print started in 1980 as a small family-run business in Telford, just down the road from Much Wenlock, and we know how important it is to have local support in order to succeed. To therefore support a local firm of publishers has been fantastic and the three books come highly recommended.”

“The Olympian Games in Wenlock” provides a pictorial history of the games from their creation in 1850 by Dr William Penny Brooks to the present day. Pictures range from sepia tone images of penny-farthings to full colour pictures of recent events, including a visit to the town by the Wenlock mascot last year. At £12.99, this is a must for anyone interested in the history of the Olympian Games.

“How Peggy the Much Wenlock Piglet Took Part in the Olympian Games” is the second of the books recently published, providing a simple little story which aims to fire the imagination and spur the interest of children in the events in Victorian Shropshire which were a forerunner to what has been dubbed the greatest show on earth. This is Shropshire author Jocelyne Adams first book and she has teamed up with the talented illustrator Isobel Bushell and publisher Ina Taylor, to create a winning local team. For £4.99 children not only get to learn a little about the history of the games but will have fun doing it at the same time.

The third book to have been printed is the “Wenlock Poetry Festival Anthology for 2012”. This features the work of 60 poets appearing at this year's festival, the anthology includes poems by Carol Ann Duffy, patron of the Wenlock Poetry Festival and current Poet Laureate, Gillian Clarke, Jackie Kay and Daljit Nagra. Again priced at £4.99, this is a must for poetry enthusiasts.

All three books are available online and post free from

Graphics and Print are dedicated towards establishing relationships with organisations in the local area to help strengthen the community infrastructure. They aim to use local suppliers where possible to help support neighbouring businesses, and encourage employees to actively get involved with charitable events in their region. They also regularly offer work experience opportunities to nearby schools and colleges as well as the mentoring of university students who wish to pursue a career in print.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

The Top Five Regrets of the Dying - The book that became an instant internet phenomenon!

The Top Five Regrets of the Dying: A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing, Hay House, £10.99
by Bronnie Ware

After too many years of unfulfilling work, Bronnie Ware began searching for a job with heart. Despite having no formal qualifications or experience, she found herself in palliative care.

Over the years she spent tending to the needs of those who were dying, Bronnie's life was transformed. Later, she wrote an Internet blog about the most common regrets expressed to her by the people she had cared for.

The article, also called 'The Top Five Regrets of the Dying', gained so much momentum that it was read by more than three million people around the globe in its first year. At the requests of many, Bronnie now shares her own personal story. Bronnie has had a colourful and diverse past, but by applying the lessons of those nearing their death to her own life, she developed an understanding that it is possible for people, if they make the right choices, to die with peace of mind. In this book, she expresses in a heartfelt retelling how significant these regrets are and how we can positively address these issues while we still have the time.

The Top Five Regrets of the Dying gives hope for a better world. It is a story told through sharing her inspiring and honest journey, which will leave you feeling kinder towards yourself and others, and more determined to live the life you are truly here to live. This delightful memoir is a courageous, life-changing book.

Here are the top five regrets of the dying, as witnessed by Ware:

1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
"This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it."

2. I wish I hadn't worked so hard.
"This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children's youth and their partner's companionship. Women also spoke of this regret, but as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence."

3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.
"Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result."

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
"Often they would not truly realize the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying."

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
"This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called 'comfort' of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again."