Heroes in Love – New Release

COVER - Heroes in Love

“Heroes in Love.”

David C. Dawson

MM Mystery Romance

Can forbidden love stand the test of time?

Will its strength inspire lasting love in today’s generation?

There are not only heroes, but unlikely heroes, who are determined to see love win.

Billy’s life changes in a single day when he meets Daniel, who becomes the love of his life.

Billy’s aging client Chuck has a dark and sad secret to reveal. As Billy and Daniel fight to help Chuck reunite with the love of his past, their own fledgling relationship is threatened.

Who will remain the heroes in love?

 

Get It On Amazon | Boroughs Publishing | Smashwords | Universal Link

 


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Excerpt

Daniel’s kitchen was filled with a jumble of antiquated cooking gadgets accumulated from different eras in the social history of domesticity. An ancient, blackened stove stood in the chimney alcove. Next to it, an oversized American retro blender perched precariously on a mottled red Formica work surface, alongside a vintage 1930s toaster. A Victorian clothes dryer hung from the high ceiling above an antique pine table. The walls were cluttered with framed pictures, mostly collections of actors smiling from bygone West End productions. Every surface seemed cluttered with either elaborate culinary equipment or music manuscripts.

Billy looked around him in awe. The house was narrow, but extended a long way back. There seemed to be so much space. “Can I ask a cheeky question?”

“You mean, how can I afford this?” replied Daniel. “I know. I’m very lucky. My grandfather left it for me when he died. This was where I ran to when I left my parents and came to London. Grandpa Bob was the world to me. He was my mum’s father, and the dad I never had.”

“It must be worth a fortune now.”

“Three bedroom terrace house in desirable Battersea?” Daniel turned to the worktop, and opened a cupboard in front of him. “I suppose it is. But it means more to me that this was Grandpa Bob’s home. Lots of the things I have here were actually his.”

He turned back to Billy.

“I said coffee, but would you prefer tea?”

Daniel crossed to the stove, picked up a large whistling kettle, and carried it to the sink.

“Have you got mint tea?” asked Billy.

“Ooh, there’s fancy,” replied Daniel as he filled the kettle. “Give me a second and I’ll gather some leaves from the garden. Peppermint or spearmint?”

“Now it’s my turn to say ‘ooh, there’s fancy,’” replied Billy. “I’ve got no idea, but probably peppermint.”

Daniel set the kettle down on the stove and lit the gas. He picked up a pair of scissors from the dresser, crossed to the backdoor, and undid two heavy bolts.

“Come and have a look at the outside space Maggie created for me,” he said.

Daniel swung open the door. Billy could see a hazy glow of twinkling lights beckon him into the mysterious space beyond the threshold. Leading away from the kitchen door he saw an avenue of sculpted shrubs, each festooned with tiny lanterns. The pathway seemed to be endless, disappearing into the far distance. On either side of the doorway were two Victorian lampposts. A flickering yellow light illuminated huge glass globes on top of the wrought iron posts.

Billy stepped across the threshold into the garden. The ground felt soft beneath his feet. He squatted down and gently brushed the palm of his hand over its mossy surface. His nostrils were filled with the scent of chamomile. Billy looked back over his shoulder. Daniel stood smiling in the doorway.

“This is how I keep sane in this city of madness.”

Billy stood and walked farther into the garden. After a few yards he came across a break in the avenue of shrubs. It revealed a small, half-walled patio lit by two more wrought iron lanterns. They spilled yellow flickering light onto two chairs and a neat, glass-topped table. Suspended on the walls around the patio were earthenware pots in which grew many different types of herbs.

Daniel appeared at Billy’s side with the scissors in his hand.

“I’ve come to get you your tea.”

Billy felt as if he had been transported into a film set. Every one of his five senses was overwhelmed by the magic of Daniel’s west London wonderland.

“It’s beautiful,” said Billy. “It’s so – tranquil. Surely this must have cost a fortune to build?”

Daniel bent down to the chamomile lawn.

“I’m afraid it’s mostly fake, but it’s very realistic.”

He walked across to the wall of herbs, and harvested a handful of mint leaves.

“I haven’t switched on the mist,” said Daniel. “The pump needs some fixing. If I did, the romance here would’ve been overpowering.”

Billy turned as Daniel stopped behind him. He held a handful of mint leaves to Billy’s nose, and Billy inhaled deeply.

“Peppermint,” said Daniel. “I hope I made the right choice.”

He lowered his arm, hooked it around Billy’s waist, and pulled him closer. He leaned forward and kissed Billy slowly on the mouth. Daniel’s lips parted as he said quietly:

“Shit.”

He dropped his arm from Billy’s waist, reached into his front pocket, and pulled out the scissors.

“I wasn’t planning on giving myself a circumcision tonight.”

Daniel let the scissors and the handful of mint fall to the ground. He wrapped his arms around Billy, and pulled him close. Suddenly they were kissing, wildly, passionately. Daniel placed his hand on the back of Billy’s neck, holding the two men close as their tongues hungrily explored each other’s mouths. He wrapped his arm tight around Billy’s waist, and slipped his hand down to push their groins closer together.

Billy had never felt such immediate connection with a man before. Daniel was both passionate and tender. So many men he had met simply behaved like sexual animals. Encounters with them would start promisingly, but soon they would slip into clichéd actions copied from a badly made porn movie.

But Daniel was different. One moment he was kissing Billy with a passionate urgency. His raw aggression filled Billy with a sense of sexual danger. The next moment Daniel was gently sliding his tongue across Billy’s stubble, or tenderly kissing him on his forehead, on his eyes, or his nose.

Finally, Daniel slipped his hands onto Billy’s shoulders, and the two men stood with their foreheads touching. Their eyes locked on each other in an unblinking gaze.

“Do you still want that mint tea?”

“Maybe I’ll have a coffee after all,” said Billy. “I’d like to stay awake tonight.”


Author Bio

David C. DawsonDavid C Dawson writes contemporary thrillers featuring gay men in love. He’s an award winning author, journalist and documentary maker.

His debut novel The Necessary Deaths won Bronze for Best Mystery & Suspense in the FAPA awards. The second in the series is The Deadly Lies. His third book For the Love of Luke came out in October 2018.

David lives in London, with his boyfriend and two cats. In his spare time, he tours Europe and sings with the London Gay Men’s Chorus.

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HEROES IN LOVE – DAVID C DAWSON

Love in London

I think London is one of the most romantic cities in the world. Of course, I’m biased. I’ve loved and lost and loved again in London throughout my life. That’s why it’s the backdrop to my lovers in my latest book Heroes in Love.  Here are some of the locations the book features. Visit them next time you’re here.  I challenge you not to feel touched by their romance.

Soho is the gay capital of London. Well, just about. It used to be wonderfully Bohemian with a hint of danger. But it’s got increasingly expensive and chichi as I call it, as the people with money moved in. All the same, go for a good value dinner at Taro on Brewer Street (the inspiration for the restaurant Bento in Brewer in the story) and watch the lovers stare at each other dreamily over their meals. Or walk arm in arm down from Soho to Piccadilly Circus, and drop into the brasserie Zedel’s. Have a late night drink there in the café. You can imagine yourself in Paris, except the waiters are wonderfully attentive and polite.

The River Thames at night is far more romantic than the Seine in Paris, or the Arno in Florence in my opinion. Walk down The Strand, have dinner at the Savoy, and then walk down to Embankment tube station. There’s a footbridge over the Thames. As you get halfway across, stop, and look in wonder at the lights of London. The bizarrely Gothic Palace of Westminster, the ultra-modern concrete and steel of the City of London further down river, and the simply beautiful dome of Christopher Wren’s St Pauls. Every time my partner and I cross this bridge, we have to stop and kiss – even if it’s raining! It’s one of the most romantic spots in the whole of London.

The top deck of a London double-decker bus is supremely romantic. Make sure you sit in the very front seats, right over the head of the driver. You can imagine you’re being paraded around the streets of London like royalty. Wave regally at pedestrians below you, as your noble vehicle chunters past them. Lean back in each other’s arms, and enjoy your superior view of the beauty that is London. And fall in love all over again.

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Death of Civil Discourse

I should write a disclaimer beforehand since this is about a controversial subject. My post has nothing to do with race or religion and I feel that racism is indeed an evil that still prevails and, unfortunately, probably always will to some extent. I also want to point out that I am Lilly white (more of a pasty beige), an immigrant (who has been a US citizen now for a long time) for whom English is a second language (as attested by my misuse of prepositions) and also what people love to call a bleeding heart (I believe in being charitable even with those who probably don’t deserve it and that people can and do change as they get older). Now that is out of the way, let’s talk about the death of tolerance, civil discourse, and giving people the benefit of the doubt. Oh yeah, and also the lack of understanding that words can and do hurt a lot and can indeed destroy lives and relationships.

These past years, besides the mess brought on by politics, has seen a surge of intolerance that bothers me to no end. I am old. I still remember when I was trying to figure out what career to follow and had very few options open to me as a woman. I was sexually harassed and even assaulted many times (not raped thankfully) from the age of thirteen until I left my country as an adult. I was in South Africa during the apartheid. I lived in what was then Zaire and witnessed all kinds of injustices committed by humans against fellow humans of every color, shape or form. When I first moved to the US I was shocked by the almost palpable racial bigotry in the area where I lived back then. But things have changed, they have evolved and, for the most part, gotten a lot better. Are we where we should be yet? Not really, but there has been a lot of progress in the right direction.

Suddenly though we seem to have taken a few steps backwards. Under the guise of being inclusive we, as a society, have began excluding people for all kinds of reasons. I don’t like your ideas so I’m going to call you a few names and unfriend you. Oh wait, I’ll go further and will tweet about how horrible you are because you have different ideas from me. But, hold on, I’ll do even better; I will damage your career and life because I think you are a despicable person who supports a politician I hate and/or because you said or did something twenty years ago that could be construed as racist or biased nowadays.

 

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Come on, people, we are better than this. We are all humans and, as such, imperfect. We all make mistakes and even those of us who think have no prejudices, I have news for you; you do. We all do. You can’t escape it, we learn it unconsciously from those around us or from events in our lives that shaped the way we think. The old proverb, people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, is good advice for all of us because let’s face it, we all live in glass houses. Jesus had the same idea when he said, let him who is without sin cast the first stone.

I have witnessed friends and family members cutting themselves off each other’s lives because of different opinions about some issues. I’m not going to lie; I disagree with many things friends and relatives think or do, sometimes enough to make me angry. However, I can’t forget that these are good people, imperfect but basically good. I’ll give you an example that made me very angry at the time. Not angry enough to cut myself off completely from my friend, but enough to put a bit of space between us for a while. My son is gay and this friend of mine, who is a wonderful, loving woman, posted somethings inspired by the teachings in her church that labeled my son and all other queers as sinners who needed to repent and change their ways. I was angry, I was disappointed in her because I respect her and I know she has a heart of gold and is always willing to do whatever it takes to help those in need. So I gave ourselves a little space. No words of anger, no unfriending. After some time, anger faded to a manageable level and I’m so glad I can still call her my friend. I know we will never agree on some things, but that doesn’t make her or me a bad person.

Obviously there are extreme cases. I’m not talking about people who post nothing but hate and indiscriminate bigotry or who incite violence. I decided to write this post because of the upheaval going on right now in the romance world. I don’t have all the facts and I am probably too ignorant of certain legalities to be able to judge things clearly but I can’t help but notice that most parties involved in this mess have let their anger (justified or not) tint their words and actions. In today’s world, words stick around forever thanks to social media (which I love and hate in equal parts) where people seem to think they can say whatever they want with impunity, forgetting all along that they are often hurting others.

I will end my ramblings here. Take this for what it is, a vent from someone who is so tired of the fights and strife brought on by differences of opinions, different perspectives, looking at things so closely and through tinted lenses that you are almost certain to find fault in everything.

Can we hit the pause button for a while and spend some time admiring the world around us, this magical planet we live in and the amazing and diverse creatures that populate it? Can we just agree to disagree on a few things? I’m not suggesting you shouldn’t stand up for your beliefs, I’m just saying let’s do it in a civil, empathetic, courteous way. Anger and meanness does nothing but create more anger.

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A Court of Wings and Ruin- Review

A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3)A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

How come there aren’t more than five stars to rate a book???? I don’t have words to express how much I loved this book. Anyone who makes me cry and cuss out the author in my car while parked before going to work is an extraordinary writer. And Sarah Maas did just that. I was so brokenhearted that morning after reading one of the last and most emotional chapters, that I was in a bad mood all day. Love, love, love. Enough said.

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Rebel Jewel- New Release

Author: Natalina Reis
Title: Rebel Jewel
Series: The Jewel Chronicles, book 3
Genre: Romantic Fantasy
Release Date: August 31, 2019
Cover Designer: Soxsational Cover Art
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Available now!
Milenda never wanted the responsibilities that came from being a royal heiress. After three years in exile, she’s called back home to ignite a revolution. A revolution that will spill innocent blood and endanger her husband and baby daughter.
After a lifetime in captivity, Jaali only wants a quiet life with his wife and daughter. But the gods have other plans, ones that promise a wave of destruction. To rescue their people from the Elders and free the enslaved, Milenda and Jaali must put aside their fears, summon all their courage and wits, and march head-on into a bloody revolution.
Even if their love for each other carries them, unscathed and victorious, to the end, the revolution may yet destroy the lives of the ones they hold dearest.
Rebel Jewel is the third and final book in The Jewel Chronicles. A unique interracial romance set against a breathtaking fantasy world with complex characters and twists at every turn. Let Rebel Jewel take you to another world.
 

Amazon US:  https://amzn.to/2zbsZZJ 

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The Jewel Chronicles Series
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book 2

Author of We Will Always Have the Closet, Desert Jewel, and Loved You Always, Natalina wrote her first romance in collaboration with her best friend at the age of 13. Since then she has ventured into other genres, but romance is first and foremost in almost everything she writes.

After earning a degree in tourism and foreign languages, she worked as a tourist guide in her native Portugal for a short time before moving to the United States. She lived in three continents and a few islands, and her knack for languages and linguistics led her to a master’s degree in education. She lives in Virginia where she has taught English as a Second Language to elementary school children for more years than she cares to admit.

Natalina doesn’t believe you can have too many books or too much coffee. Art and dance make her happy and she is pretty sure she could survive on lobster and bananas alone. When she is not writing or stressing over lesson plans, she shares her life with her husband and two adult sons.

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Excerpt

The smell of blood suffocated him. There was no running from it. It surrounded him, tightening its nauseating grip on Jaali’s senses, clinging to his nostrils, not letting him go.
Where is Milenda? Jaali scanned the area around him, his glance bouncing off objects and undefined shapes, straining through the red fog closing in on him. Even the mist was tinted with blood, snaking over the wet ground, the exhale of a hidden monster. Milenda was nowhere to be seen. His heart pumped harder, the drumming echoing in his ears, deafening and frantic.
He tried to move, but invisible hands held him steadfast, feet rooted to the dirt-covered ground, unseen shackles around his ankles, breaking through skin and digging into his flesh.
No, not again.
With all the strength he had left, Jaali pulled and pushed against whatever held him in place, the sting of wounded flesh shooting up his legs, a feeling all too familiar to him. He was enslaved again. He thrashed harder, blood now running down to his bare feet, warm and frightening.
A shadow emerged from the fog. Milenda! But, no, it couldn’t be. Its frame was too tall and broad. Jaali opened his mouth to yell for help, but the word never left his lips. Panic rose inside of him, insidious and overwhelming. Why had they returned to Afrika? He had warned his wife it was too dangerous. Too many people wanted them dead.
The shadowy figure took shape as it approached him—brown legs the size of tree trunks and long arms to match.
No, no, no.
The sight of an impressive bald head choked him. It couldn’t be. The duivel was dead. And yet, there he was, striding toward him like an out-of-control transport. Jaali yelled out, his voice freed from whatever was muting it, and pulled harder on the invisible chains holding his ankles. To no avail. The shackles held steady as if glued to the ground.
The slaver proceeded toward him, a cruel smirk curling the corners of his lips. “I’ve got you now, my beautiful boy. You can’t run this time.” Mnyama threw his massive weight into his stride, coming closer and closer to Jaali. “It’s been too long. Ready to give me some of that milky goodness?”
“You’re dead,” Jaali screamed, his voice absorbed by the thick fog. “It’s not possible.”
The large man took a few more steps, a growl-like chuckle leaving his lips. “Well, I’m not. And I missed you, little white boy. My friends missed you too.”
From the thickest part of the fog, where the blood seemed to have coagulated into disgusting blobs, a few more shadows appeared, coalescing into several human bodies, both male and female—all unwelcome echoes of his past. The slaver had brought his cronies.
“No, you’re dead.” Jaali’s voice came out as a sob, a heart-wrenching plea to whatever gods were listening. “I killed you.”
The group of human shadows united in their progress toward him. “It’s about time we have ourselves a good orgy.” Mnyama glanced at his friends. “Any preference about who does the boy first?”
He couldn’t be sure the ear-splitting scream he heard came from himself. Jaali closed his eyes tight and, like a mantra, repeated the words, “It’s not possible. You’re dead, duivel. This is only a nightmare.”
“Well, you should have stayed in Isvärld,” a familiar female voice said. “You wouldn’t be going through this again.”
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A Court Of Mist And Fury-Review

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2)A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Maas ripped my heart apart before she put it back together only to tear it to pieces again. This book is a wild, heart-wrenching ride that often left me breathless. There are no words to describe it. It is pure intense heartbreaking and soul satisfying magic. Don’t miss it.

Note: Not for young adults. I wouldn’t let a teenager younger than 18 read this.

View all my reviews

Dark and Bright- Review

Dark and BrightDark and Bright by P.M. Hernandez

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book surprised the crap out of me–in a good way. Don’t want to reveal any spoilers but the plot was flowing away and I kind of knew (or thought I knew) what the truth was behind all the meds Carrie was taking but then about half way through the book, bam! Hernandez hit me over the head with something I certainly didn’t see coming. It reminded me of the old TV show, Dollhouse, and I’m going to leave it at that so I don’t give anything away. I was shocked and disgusted (with one of the characters, not the book) and my only critique is in connection with that. I thought Carrie didn’t react as strongly as I thought she would when she found out what had been done to her. I was expecting more fireworks than what I got. But other than that, this was a great read with great likable characters (Luis was the sweetest thing ever. Loved him.) who you really care about and feel for. Can’t wait to see what the second book brings.

View all my reviews

A Court of Thorns and Roses- Review

A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I don’t even know what to say other than I am jealous that I wasn’t the one writing this story, lol. It played with all my feelings, surprised me, shocked me, broke my heart, made me swoon…and confused me. At this point I still love Tamlin but Rhys is such a unique and intriguing character. I already have the next book cued in. I now know what the whole hype was all about. Amazing!

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Fictional-ish- New Release

Title: Fictional-ish
Author: Natalina Reis
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Release Date: May 11, 2019
Cover Designer: Soxsational Cover Art
 Add to TBR
 On sale for half price! 
A stand-alone romantic comedy set against the background of Scottish small towns and locks that will make you laugh, cry, and definitely melt your heart.
Livie Dunn, bookworm and aspiring bookstore owner, has been in love with her best friend ever since he dropped a bug down her shirt in primary school. She never stopped hoping that one day he’d realize they were made for each other.
Until Mia got in the way.
Kyle Huang has been taught to always do the right thing. But when that involves ostracizing his best friend by marrying her childhood nemesis, Mia, life as he knows it derails and crashes.
Suddenly, their happy ever after seems like a broken dream, especially when Livie moves across two continents to open a bookstore in Scotland.
To salvage a love that seems all but lost, Kyle must come to terms with his own bad choices and hope that Livie is willing to forgive and help him face his demons—a task that is anything but simple. Will he be able to reignite her love or will he lose it all?
 On sale for half price! 

 

Author of We Will Always Have the Closet, Desert Jewel, and Loved You Always, Natalina wrote her first romance in collaboration with her best friend at the age of 13. Since then she has ventured into other genres, but romance is first and foremost in almost everything she writes.After earning a degree in tourism and foreign languages, she worked as a tourist guide in her native Portugal for a short time before moving to the United States. She li

 

ved in three continents and a few islands, and her knack for languages and linguistics led her to a master’s degree in education. She lives in Virginia where she has taught English as a Second Language to elementary school children for more years than she cares to admit.

Natalina doesn’t believe you can have too many books or too much coffee. Art and dance make her happy and she is pretty sure she could survive on lobster and bananas alone. When she is not writing or stressing over lesson plans, she shares her life with her husband and two adult sons.

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 Submissions

 

The Wicked King-Review

The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, #2)The Wicked King by Holly Black

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It’s been a while since I’ve been this excited about a book. I’m a little weird about reading books that are very popular because I have been disappointed before, but boy, am I glad I picked up The Cruel Prince because it led me to the even more fantastic The Wicked King. Holly Black is a true black belt of the writing craft. Jude and Cardan will live in my memory for a very long time. They are perfectly imperfect and their relationship, with all its twists and turns, both shocks and entrances. I found myself going from an “aww” to a “What? What the hell just happened?” sometimes on the same page. The world Black created, however fictional and the stuff of dreams and nightmares, feels familiar and organic as Black’s mastery comes through in the way she describes it in much detail without ever breaking the flow of the plot.
It’s going to be hard to top this one but I have all faith that Holly Black will be more than up for the challenge. Now, what can I read while waiting for November’s release of Queen of Nothing?

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The Little Book of Stoicism-New Release

 

Widespread and Potent Stoic Philosophy Made Easy and Actionable in the Modern World

the little book of stoicism - cover art

Stoicism is popular. Yet nobody really knows what it’s all about. Just like an old reliable walking stick, it’s a guide to life based on reason rather than faith that supports you in the pursuit of self-mastery, perseverance, and wisdom. Despite the philosophy’s age, its invaluable tools to excel in life often feel modern and fresh.

By adopting Stoicism as a way of life, you’ll discover that philosophy is built for action, not endless head scratching. It’s a lifelong path to resilience, confidence, and calmness – essential skills to thrive no matter what life throws at you.

In his book THE LITTLE BOOK OF STOICISM: Timeless Wisdom to Gain Resilience, Confidence, and Calmness Jonas Salzgeber introduces the ready-to-use mix of timeless wisdom and empowering advice that will point the way to anyone seeking a calm and wise life.

According to Salzgeber, “A Stoic’s heart is not of stone but full of love. This wonderful philosophy offers all you need to keep your emotions in check, be fully aware in the present moment, and live up to your best self.”

the little book of stoicism - banner

You get what you’d expect from a Swiss author: a clear, comprehensive, and concise distillation of this wonderful philosophy. His advice includes:

  • Develop the warrior-philosopher mindset (Know your way and transform the abstract into reality.)
  • Build emotional resilience and strength (Step outside your thoughts, stay calm in the midst of a storm, don’t let others push your buttons.)
  • Cultivate empowering values (Gain awareness, harness your wisdom, and express your best self.)

The Little Book of Stoicism is packed with illustrations and practices that will show you how to deal more effectively with life’s challenges and how to finally live up to what you’re truly capable of. For men and women alike, this direct and digestible guide helps you understand and, most importantly, put the ancient wisdom from book page into action in the real world.

Salzgeber’s engaging and easy-to-follow explanations of the timeless Stoic advice will help you flourish in today’s demanding world.

author photo jonas salzgeber

Contact: Jonas Salzgeber, Jonas@njlifehacks.com