This is the first novel of its kind because its storyline centers on volunteer firefighters and emergency medical service personnel and not on the paid departments.

Scotrun, PA-- Tom Ward has a new book out, The Volunteer, just released by Cambridge Books whose advanced copies are available on Amazon.com.

In 1983, in war-torn Lebanon, Robert J. Doyle ordered the complete destruction of an unsuspecting village. As he walked through the carnage later, he vowed one day he would somehow pay off the loss of innocent lives.

Later, Doyle decides to become a volunteer firefighting paramedic. He feels that with each life and property he helps to save; he makes a payment on his debt. For years, as Doyle responds to his community's calls for help he ignores his own needs. To counteract flashbacks brought on by burnout, Doyle uses alcohol to keep going. Still, the memories of the destruction and dead villagers compel him to respond.

The Volunteer centers on one man's struggle with to find inner peace. And examines the question of what compels volunteers to respond no matter what time of day or night, to sacrifice their time, financial resources, their talents, and even their lives in the service of their communities.

"I am ecstatic at this time to finally have 'The Volunteer' published after all these years," said Tom Ward. "For the past 20 years this story has always been important to me because it shows one man's reason why he volunteers to serve his community. But his is only one reason out of 800,000 other reasons of those who serve their respective communities.

Hollywood always makes movies and TV series about the Paid Departments and not once ventured to portray the volunteer firefighter or emergency medical service personnel. These men and women willingly place themselves and everything they hold dear into harm's way for their communities and don't expect anything in return not even a thank you.

Hollywood's neglect and that of other authors was and always has been my motivation to get my novel published for it tells of one volunteer's reason why he is willing to risk it all for his community."

Cambridge Books is a small press located in Cambridge, MD.

"We are very proud to have published The Volunteer by Tom Ward," said Arline Chase, publisher. "We are a small company and choose our books carefully. We only publish work from writers we feel are talented and have a lot to offer."

Tom has a trilogy, The Volunteer, Volunteers: A Breed Apart which he is editing and Station 1260-1270 which he hopes to finish.

Tom Ward enjoys meeting fellow volunteers both firefighters and emergency medical service personnel, and may be contacted by e-mail at tmwardjr@gmail.com.

MOLINE, IL -- WQPT received more than 400 stories from students in kindergarten through third grade for the annual PBS Kids Go Writers Contest. Sixteen winners (four from each grade) were selected by educators and contest sponsors. The winners and their families will be honored and awarded prizes at Deere-Wiman House at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 19.

"We received a record number of stories this year. We are thrilled that so many teachers and parents encouraged their young authors and illustrators to participate," said Ana Kehoe, WQPT's educational outreach director.

Kindergarten

First Place: Rylan Edwards, Ekstrand Elementary, DeWitt, IA

Second Place: Ellie Curnyn, Jane Addams Elementary, Moline, IL

Third Place: Sophia Foad, Cody Elementary School, LeClaire, IA

Honorable Mention: Oliver Borders, Longfellow Liberal Arts, Rock Island, IL

 

First grade

First Place: Georgia Brunkan, Ed White Elementary, Eldridge, IA

Second Place: Xion Owens-Holst, McKinley Elementary, Davenport, IA

Third Place: Gianna Schwartz, Paul Norton School, Bettendorf, IA

Honorable Mention: Nate Stanger, Garfield School, Davenport, IA

 

Second grade

First Place: Paul Schwartz, Paul Norton School, Bettendorf, IA

Second Place: Isabella Jones, Rivermont Collegiate, Bettendorf, IA

Third Place: Nikhil Ramaraju, Riverdale Heights Elementary, Bettendorf, IA

Honorable Mention: Jena Edwards, Ekstrand Elementary, DeWitt, IA

 

Third grade

First Place: Dalton Morrow, Harrison Elementary, Davenport, IA

Second Place: Alana Kruse, Morning Star Academy, Bettendorf, IA

Third Place: Eden Swails, Riverdale Elementary, Port Byron, IL

Honorable Mention: Calla Brunkan, Ed White Elementary, Eldridge, IA

 

All the entries will be returned, along with a certificate from PBS. Stories will be displayed at the Butterworth Center from May 19-30; the Family Museum from June 3-16; and Figge Art Museum from June 18-30.

The contest is supported by WQPT-Quad Cities PBS, the Butterworth Center, Deere-Wiman House, Family Museum in Bettendorf, Figge Art Museum and the Midwest Writing Center.

WQPT is a media service of Western Illinois University - Quad Cities located in Moline, Illinois.

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Join director Luis Argueta for a special sneak preview of his moving documentary, "abUSed: The Postville Raid" at Rozz Tox on May 10 at 8pm.

Iowa Public TV will air the film on the fifth anniversary of the raid, May 12 (check your local listings), but join us Friday, May 10 at 8pm, for a special screening and chance to meet the award-winning director and immigration activist Luis Argueta.

Mr. Argueta will be present at this screening to introduce the film and take questions about current immigration issues, the lingering effects of the 2008 raid, and his new film, "The U-Turn," a follow-up to "abUSed."
Also in attendance will be Guatemala producer Bea Gallardo Shaul and Iowa producer (and former Quad Citian) Adam Burke.
Voluntary donations will be accepted to assist the victims of the raid and their families and to help produce the upcoming "U-Turn" film.

abUSed: The Postville Raid has received both critical acclaim and broad praise from communities across the country.  The film has been screened at over 200 venues, including colleges, law schools, immigration and workers' conferences, faith-based communities and at the OIM/CMS Conference on Irregular Migration for the UN Permanent Delegates in NYC. It has been an official entry in 16 international film festivals, receiving the Best Documentary Audience Award at CINEMASSÍ Film Festival in Finland (2012).

For additional information please contact Luis Argueta at luisarguetaa@gmail.com or 646.418.3599 or Adam Burke at atomburke@gmail.com or 319.331.6638.

NEW YORK, N.Y. May 6, 2013 abUSed: The Postville Raid, the documentary by award-winning director, Luis Argueta, will have its Iowa broadcast premiere on IPTV World on May 12, 2013.  This broadcast will commemorate the 5th anniversary of the devastating immigration raid on a meatpacking plant in the Heartland of America.

The program will air on May 12 at 5:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. on IPTV World as part of the WGBH-produced documentary series called "America Reframed."

abUSed: The Postville Raid weaves together the personal stories of those directly affected by the largest, most brutal and expensive Immigration raid in the history of the United States putting a face on the national debate about immigration.  However, the story of the Postville raid is not just about immigration, but how the rule of law was neglected, how the Constitution was trampled, how due process was overlooked and how the rights of immigrant workers were cast aside.

To see a 2-minute-trailer visit https://vimeo.com/22102237.

"With the new bi-partisan discussions on the issue of immigration reform in Washington the film is even more relevant than ever," said Mr. Argueta.

abUSed: The Postville Raid has received both critical acclaim and broad praise from communities across the country.  The film has been screened at over 200 venues, including colleges, law schools, immigration and workers' conferences, faith-based communities and at the OIM/CMS Conference on Irregular Migration for the UN Permanent Delegates in NYC. It has been an official entry in 16 international film festivals, receiving the Best Documentary Audience Award at CINEMASSÍ Film Festival in Finland (2012).

Comic Book Brings Unique Approach to Financial Education into Classrooms and Homes Across the Country

Foster City, CA - May 3, 2013 - Free Comic Book Day is the first Saturday in May each year - when comic book shops across around the world give away comic books free to anyone who comes into their stores. Marvel Comics and Visa Inc. have teamed up to create an enormously popular financial literacy comic book called Avengers: Saving The Day.  Combining Marvel's iconic characters, including the Avengers and Spider-Man, with Visa's financial literacy expertise, this comic introduced children to basic money concepts.  Visa distributed over 250,000 copies of the free comic since the release in March, 2012

Avengers: Saving The Day is a 16-page comic book with a fast-moving plot revolving around Spider-Man and the Avengers learning about personal finance, while battling the evil Mole Man during an attempted heist.  The book is accompanied by a teacher's guide that uses Marvel's characters to introduce children to basic financial concepts such as budgeting and saving.

Available at no cost, both in print and online at www.practicalmoneyskills.com/avengersAvengers: Saving The Day is available around the world and is available in Arabic, Bahasa Indonesia, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. Hard copies can be ordered at http://www.practicalmoneyskills.com/resources/free_materials/

BETTENDORF, Iowa - Happy Joe Whitty loves people, and it shows. He loves to have a goodtime and to make people laugh, and that's just what his new book, "Not Your Average Joe" does.

You're sure to love this book written by the founder of Happy Joe's Pizza & Ice Cream and theinventor of the Taco pizza! Read about this hard-working, generous, fun-loving entrepreneurwith a natural ability to make people happy. You'll be inspired, laugh, and maybe shed a fewtears. "I'm not only living proof of the American dream, but proof that the American dream canbecome a reality for any one of us," Whitty writes. "This is my story...and yours."

Meet Happy Joe Whitty himself on Saturday, May 4th, 11am - 1pm, at the Barnes & NobleBookstore in North Park Mall in Davenport, or 11am - 1pm the following Saturday, May11th, at Books-A-Million, 4000 E. 53rd Street in Davenport. There will be a meet and greetwhere Joe will visit and answer questions, as well as autograph your book!

Bring your camera and your kids for a photo opportunity with the real Happy Joe and Happy the Dog!

Published by Tate Publishing and Enterprises, the book is available through bookstoresnationwide, from the publisher at www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore, or by visitingwww.barnesandnoble.com, www.booksamillion.com, or www.amazon.com.
If you would like more information, please contact Kristel Whitty-Ersan at 563.332.8811, Ext.203, or via e-mail at kristele@happyjoes.com.

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MOLINE, IL - The Moline Foundation awarded Sean Turnipseed of Moline, a senior elementary education student at Western Illinois University-Quad Cities, a $500 educational stipend for his winning entry in the River Vision 2020 video contest. The award was presented at a ceremony    April 22 at the WIU-QC Riverfront campus.

River Vision 2020 consisted of three community conversations attended by 65 residents and business owners from both sides of the river. The River Vision 2020 website had 3,300 views and 2,400 votes were cast online for the video competition. River Vision 2020 is set to move on to the next phase of the riverfront project.

River Vision 2020 has been a partnership between WQPT, The Moline Foundation, Renew Moline and the City of Moline.

For more information on River Vision 2020, visit wqpt.org/rivervision2020.

WQPT is a public media service of Western Illinois University Quad Cities located in Moline, IL.          

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Photo of Scott Turnipseed and Joy Boruff of the Moline Foundation.  

'September Woods' is a novel that explores timely themes of abuse, love and perseverance

SIOUX CITY, Iowa - "It is my hope that we chose to make a difference with our lives, a difference in the lives of others and ultimately a difference in the world." It is this sentiment that drove debut author Linda Florke to pen her new thriller "September Woods" (published by Trafford Publishing). In the northern woods of Wisconsin, three characters lives intersect with chilling and long-lasting consequences.

"September Woods," Florke believes, will inspire readers to find the courage to stand up for their own convictions. It will impress upon readers the value of family, the virtue of compassion, and will give hope to many who have encountered controversy in their own lives.

Stella is the main character; the story tells her struggle from childhood to adulthood and how the most catastrophic event in her life shaped her future and gave her life purpose. Dr. Graham Becker helps heal Stella after her tragedy, and tries to make her whole again, but never expected his feelings to grow for her. Randall Daggett, who like so many misguided people is merely the product of his environment, wreaks havoc on everyone and everything in his path.

Florke knows her work will find a ready audience. She touches on and explores too many of the important themes of today, such as the ever-present crimes against women, the cruelty and abuse of animals and the never-ending hope that love that will conquer all.

About the Author

Linda Florke has been an avid reader for over 40 years and chose to finally write her first novel. Florke has been married for 34 years and has three grown children, and three grandchildren. Florke enjoyed writing in college, as well as, analyzing literature, both which inspired her to create this story.

Trafford Publishing, an Author Solutions, Inc. author services imprint, was the first publisher in the world to offer an "on-demand publishing service," and has led the independent publishing revolution since its establishment in 1995. Trafford was also one of the earliest publishers to utilize the Internet for selling books. More than 10,000 authors from over 120 countries have utilized Trafford's experience for self publishing their books. For more information about Trafford Publishing, or to publish your book today, call 1-888-232-4444 or visit trafford.com.

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If you're using social media for marketing, what should you say following a tragedy like the deadly blasts at the Boston Marathon on April 15?

The horrific elementary school shootings in Newtown, Conn.?

The October storm that took lives and devastated communities across the Northeast?

Sometimes, nothing at all.

The age of digital marketing brings with it new challenges, including how to respond during a national tragedy. Remember, as recently as Sept. 11, 2001, we had no MySpace, much less Facebook, Twitter or YouTube. Except for email, no vehicle for delivering instantaneous marketing messages existed. After 9/11, one of the most painful days in American memory, most of us had time to pause, reflect and put on hold print, radio and TV marketing campaigns that might be viewed as inappropriate or offensive.

In recent months, there has been lively debate on this topic in the marketing community, including how and when to tie - or not to tie -- a marketing message into the news of the day, a  widely used strategy.

Gaffes can occur with the most innocent of intentions in any media content, marketing or not. Earlier in April, a new episode of the musical comedy "Glee" upset and angered parents in Newtown, Conn., because the plot featured a student bringing a gun to school, where it accidentally discharges.

"A lot of people were upset about it and that I feel horrible about," Jane Lynch, one of the stars, told Access Hollywood Live days later. "If we added to anybody's pain, that's just certainly not what any of us wanted. ... We're always rather topical and rather current."

Usually, however, simply applying your own sense of decency and good taste can help you avoid a blunder. Consider American Apparel's notorious "Hurricane Sandy Sale - in case you're bored during the storm," advertised as tens of thousands of people endured freezing temperatures without power. Most of us wouldn't have even considered such a ploy!

Here are a couple more suggestions for do's and don'ts:

• If you use automated posts scheduled through a site such as HootSuite, turn them off immediately. If people don't find them insensitive and uncaring or silly, they'll likely conclude your messages come from a robot - not a real person - which is just as bad.

• Can you be helpful? Hours after the blasts in Boston, with cell phone service out in the city and family and friends desperately trying to connect with loved ones, Google.org launched "Person Finder: Boston Marathon Explosions." There, individuals and organizations could share information about the status of marathon participants and spectators for those trying to find them.

If your community has suffered a tragic event, perhaps you have helpful information to share. Here in Florida, which is affected by hurricanes, people use social media to help evacuees and their pets find shelter, and to alert others to danger, such as downed power lines. Depending on your area of expertise, you may be able to provide more general information or commentary. For instance, an educator can share tips for answering children's questions about the event. Philanthropists might comment on those selflessly step up to help.

• Of course, social media is also about reactions and, for many, that's a sincere expression of sympathy for and unity with those affected.

If you want to post something and you're unsure about what to say, take a look at what businesses and other brands are sharing, and how online users are reacting. You may decide to just say nothing for a day or two, or whatever time seems reasonable given the nature of the event.

Sometimes, saying nothing at all speaks volumes.

About Marsha Friedman

every Thursday at 3:00 PM EST. Follow her on Twitter: @marshafriedman.

The hottest book publishing trend today: less is the new more.

"The first time I saw a 73-page 'book' offered on Amazon, I was outraged," says New York Times best selling author Michael Levin.  "But I thought about how shredded the American attention span is.  And I felt like Cortez staring at the Pacific."

The trend in books today, Harry Potter notwithstanding, is toward books so short that in the past no self-respecting publisher?or author?would even have called them books.  But today, shortened attention spans call for shorter books.

Levin blames smartphones and social media for what he calls "a worldwide adult epidemic of ADH...ooh, shiny!"

"Brain scientists tell us our brain chemistry has been transformed by short-burst communication such as texting, Tweeting, and Facebook posts," Levin adds.  "Long magazine articles have given way to 600-word blog posts.  And doorstop-size books have been replaced by minibooks."

This sudden change in attention spans changed the way Levin approaches ghostwriting.  "Even five years ago, we aimed for 250-page books.  Today we advise our business clients to do 50-page minibooks to meet impatient readers' expectations for speedy delivery of information."

Levin, who runs the ghostwriting firm BusinessGhost.com and was featured on ABC's Shark Tank, says that people are looking for leadership disguised as a book.  "Today," he asserts, "people don't want you to prove your assertions.  They just want to know that you have legitimate answers to their questions and that they can trust you.  If you can't get buy-in with 50 pages today, you won't get it in 250."

The trend toward shorter books caused Levin to offer what he calls the "Book-Of-The-Quarter Club," which creates four 50-page hardcover minibooks a year for BusinessGhost's clients.  "This allows them to address four different major issues, or four different sets of prospects, and provides quarterly opportunities for marketing events," Levin says.

How short will books eventually run?

"Can you say 'haiku'?" Levin asks.  "We're waiting for a three-line, 17 syllable book.  It could happen."

About Michael Levin

Michael Levin, founder and CEO of BusinessGhost, Inc., has written more than 100 books, including eight national best-sellers; five that have been optioned for film or TV by Steven Soderbergh/Paramount, HBO, Disney, ABC, and others; and one that became "Model Behavior," an ABC Sunday night Disney movie of the week. His new minibook, "The Financial Advisor's Dilemma," teaches how to create trust and distinctiveness in the highly competitive marketplace.

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