Friday, November 20, 2015

Deception In The Pews

Exposing the Hidden Dangers That Lurk Within Religions

New Book Examines Rarely Acknowledged Psychological, Sexual,
Emotional and Other Forms of Abuse by Faith Leaders and Institutions across religions

(CHICAGO, IL – November 16, 2015)  A stark new book released by One Pen, Inc. reveals for the first time how rarely documented incidences of abuse and betrayal afflicting churchgoers, and permeating houses of worship worldwide are seemingly more common than ever before, and are increasingly the norm regardless of specific denomination.

Deception In the Pews: Exposing the Hidden Dangers That Lurk Within Religions ($14.99 ©2015, One Pen, Inc., Chicago, IL) intricately examines how some religious institutions today—and many of those anointed to lead them—suffer from classic symptoms of dysfunction, and employ deceptive practices, false doctrine and more to achieve often dubious outcomes. Compiled and written by co-authors Erik Campano, Isabel Esteviz, Sheila Taylor-Downer and Robyn Williams, literary collaborators, based on their own experience inside various American and International religious institutions. The compelling tome discusses in-depth how the manipulation of believers, ranging from sexual abuse, to psychological, financial and other forms, threatens to tarnish and destroy not only trusted, longstanding religious institutions, but ultimately even the faith of the faithful.

Featuring a series of extensive, riveting first-person victims’ testimonies, each followed by thoughtful insights, counsel and healing techniques and solutions, Deception In the Pews: Exposing the Hidden Dangers That Lurk Within Religions takes a cautious but thorough look into the desperate world of peril and despair that far too many churchgoers woefully encounter when seeking spiritual fulfillment, salvation, camaraderie and fellowship.

This book includes a diverse range of stories depicting spiritual abuse congregants endured at the hands of their leaders.  
  • Rabbi arrested for voyeurism after secretly recording female congregants while they were naked in the Mikvah
  • A pastor in Texas was caught breaking into a parishioner’s home on Christmas Eve.
  • A former Hindu Temple priest was sentenced to over 27 years in prison on felony counts including bank fraud, tax fraud and obstruction.
  • Muslim Imam used deception to lure a young girl to his private quarters and sexually abused her.
  • Collectively, congregants lost one million dollars in a Ponzi scheme spearheaded by their spiritual leader.

The book is careful not to overtly condemn alleged perpetrators nor to coddle victims, yet it compassionately acknowledges the vulnerability and confusion of both, and after each narrative asks the hard questions of why leaders sometimes fail to lead, and why the wounded so often are not believed and ritually end up being victimized twice.

Deception In the Pews: Exposing the Hidden Dangers That Lurk Within Religions is a book that promises to captivate, to confront, to empower and to touch a nerve among the lifelong faithful and church congregations and leaders alike, challenging all to take responsibility for their actions or lack of same and to take tangible, measured steps to heal.

EDITOR’S NOTE:  Deception In the Pews: Exposing the Hidden Dangers That Lurk Within Religions is available at and at  The co-authors are available for media interviews. Reach them at

For information contact: Isabel Esteviz, Sheila Downer or Robyn Williams at:

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Monday, April 27, 2015

New Novel Chronicles a Man’s Wild Journey through Life

Logan Henry’s new novel, ‘Times Chariot’, is a celebration of
 a life that reflects upon one man’s unique and exciting experiences.

Most people would expect their older years to be peaceful: they’ve worked hard throughout their youth, they retire, and live out their days enjoying hobbies and perhaps being with their families. That is not quite the case with the protagonist of Logan Henry’s Times Chariot. In this new novel, the man reflects on the many adventures of his life while, on the eve of his 80th birthday, he faces both an assassination attempt and a budding romance.

Faced with a terrifying fate, the man in Times Chariot relives portions of his extremely full past. Readers meet the family whose influence shaped him, and travel to his boyhood home. They are also given a window into the experiences of a sniper in WWII as he remembers his days in the Marine Corps. The man is even repeatedly visited by visions of his first kill as a sniper: a Japanese soldier who is framed in telescopic sight. The experience of being a sniper as well as those he had subsequent to the war, lead him to hate killing. However, with a drug lord threatening to take his life and destroy all he holds dear, he may now have to do it to survive.

Times Chariot is, at times, a tense thriller, while, at others, an earnest and inspiring portrait of an uncommon life. From the man’s friendships to the women he’s loved, he is able to reflect on the brighter aspects of life while facing a potentially terrible fate, making Logan Henry’s novel a true celebration of life in its many unique forms.

Logan Henry

Logan Henry is a retired Texas lawyer. He is an avid reader, hunter, sportsman, farmer-stockman, historian, amateur poet and a Christian believer; a husband, father and grandfather; a former athlete, military officer and enlisted man with great respect for our armed forces. His earnest desire is that the reader be absorbed, challenged, enamored, exhilarated and transported.

For more information, please visit


For media inquiries, or to request a review copy, please contact:

Logan Henry


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

New Book Details a Surrealist’s Search for Identity


Jon D. Gemma’s ‘The Sun Made Me Sneeze,’ is a frank and engrossing autobiography of a young man’s journey as he attempts to define himself through art.

Many books are written about a young man’s journey for self-discovery. Some are great, others too self-indulgent—typically, though, they are works of fiction. Jon D. Gemma’s The Sun Made Me Sneeze is a nonfiction version of these tales; honest and unflinching, the book catalogues the author’s own youth and his struggle to overcome the labels so often associated with mental illness.

After struggling to fit in and make friends, a young Jon is diagnosed as schizotypal. He struggles through adolescence and the grip of institutions, while hoping to achieve greatness. Deeply impacted by the ‘dehumanizing’ labels that have been thrust upon him his whole life, Gemma muses about his life, searching for meaning. His writing carries a sense of unreality, while references to pop culture anchor the piece in the familiarity of our world.

Like many journeys of self-discovery, The Sun Made Me Sneeze is a bold search for truth. However, Gemma’s search reaches further and deeper, questioning the existence of God, fear, aliens, and the known universe. The reader questions reality along with him, making for an engrossing and exciting experience.

The Sun Made Me Sneeze is a courageous piece; Jon D. Gemma’s lifelong isolation allows him insights that many others do not see. In some ways reminiscent of Salinger, Gemma’s writing distinguishes itself in its autobiographical nature. It is more winding yet more fragmented; a portrait of the man himself, and his lifelong struggles as he continues to pursue truth.

Jon D. Gemma

Jon D. Gemma was born in Rhode Island in 1974, and has lived there for the greater part of his life. He has an Associates In Fine Arts from the Community College Of Rhode Island and graduated with honors.

He has published six books.


For media inquiries, or to request a review copy, please contact:

Jon D. Gemma

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Ray Ryan a Compelling Read

Book Review 
An introspective look into the life of Ray Ryan, this narrative, delivered from the lips of the main character directly addresses the reader to join him through his life’s journey – one of joy and sorrow, success and failure, decline and growth. Published through Pen Press, Aiden Riley’s Ray Ryan pulls the reader into Ray’s life, intervals spanning from childhood and young adolescence to adulthood, making strong emotional connections to significant experiences throughout his development.
Written in the style of a dialogue, Riley effects a conversational narrative; this clever approach helps connect the reader to Ray, whose experiences mirror the turbulent walk of life many of us have traveled. This approach is reminiscent of Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, where the story’s main character, Holden Caufield, addresses the reader in the first few lines of the book: “If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth” (Salinger). Riley deftly addresses the reader similarly at the beginning of his novel, while invoking one of Ray’s more deep-seated, emotional memories. Through this approach, the reader cannot suspend his/her own notion of self-identity like one could with any other style; here, the reader is not only enticed to examine the story, but becomes part of it as well.
Similar to the aforementioned Salinger work, Ray Ryan is a bildungsroman: a novel concerning a young character’s growth into maturity – what some would call a “coming of age” story. Ray’s narrative recounts crucial moments in his life, moving from school and college to his entrance into the workforce and professional life. What is alluring and captivating about this story is the realism Riley is able to effect in his fiction. Ray’s life is filled with ups and downs – trials and tribulations that serve to mold the man he is to become. He is no victim, nor superhero; he is both blessed and cursed. The vivid descriptions of each scene color in his back-story, while Ray’s disposition and thought processes change as he grows. This is a difficult transition for an author to make: a character who, in one story, must constantly evolve over the span of 30 years. Riley manages to pull it off quite well, as Ray’s childhood is wrought with alienation, awkwardness, and an overall disconnection from society, while older Ray, through both his actions and reflections, elicits an individual who has learned, adapted, and advanced through his own inner growth.
Ray experiences many of the common crises we all share, and this strengthens his connection to the reader, as well as the reader’s emotional investment into the story. As we follow Ray through his life’s path, we question (as we have in our own lives) every action and decision we’ve made, trying to determine: what kind of person will I become? How have the events of my life shaped who I am today? Like Ray, the painfulness of growing up will sometimes prompt us to shrink away from the present, and ruminate over the past: a time when understanding very little protected us from the harsh realities of existence. As we travel with Ray on his life’s journey, we end up feeling what he feels, touching upon our own scars of love and loss.
In one scene, a matured Ray reflects upon the state of his (now aged) childhood dog as being, “a shadow of his former self.” Here, Ray recognizes how much his dog has changed, yet he hardly noticed the progression. In this moment, Ray’s own growth is reflected back at him, as the boy he once was has grown into a man, tempered by the diverse experiences of life. With his story of Ray Ryan, Riley reminds us that, although the road of life is filled with brilliantly joyous sights, as well as dangerously destructive potholes, we shouldn’t lose sight of who we are, where we’re going, and where we want to be.
 by Richard Nicol M.Ed. B.A. English

If your interested in this book you can get it here:
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