Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Author Michael Okon Interview on Blog Talk Radio

Michael Okon is the award-winning, best-selling author of 15 books, including Witches Protection Program, Pokergeist, Stillwell, and The Battle for Darracia series, all of which were written under his nom de plume Michael Phillip Cash. Michael writes full time and lives on the North Shore of Long Island with his wife and children.

Check out this excellent interview with author Michael Okon while he discusses his strategy of writing and his latest book, Witches Protection Program.

Friday, July 5, 2019

The Wise Bear Stories

What are The Wise Bear Stories and who are they for?
The Wise Bear Stories are a series of children’s personal development books, designed to help a child deal with the anxieties and emotional challenges they face in life, as well as giving them strategies to maximize their individual potential. In essence, the stories help a child to develop a balanced mind.
With the books aimed at 5 - 11-year old’s (although the principles apply to all ages) my chief aim is for the stories to act as a ‘skilled’ preventative to potential mental health conditions. If a child has the chance to learn these principles while they are young, it will give them the tools to maintain mental wellness throughout their life. A balanced mind is about the strongest guarantee a child could have for mental wellbeing.
Recent research suggests that as many as 1 in 6 young people (Anxiety UK) will experience an
anxiety condition at some point in their lives, this means that up to 5 children in every state school class may be living with anxiety, whether that be OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder), social anxiety and shyness, exam stress, worry or panic attacks.
Research also shows that untreated children with anxiety disorders are at higher risk to perform poorly in school, miss out on important social experiences, and engage in substance abuse, but 80 percent of kids with a diagnosable anxiety disorder and 60 percent of kids with diagnosable depression is not getting treatment.
If there was a simple engaging medium such as stories that helped children (and parents) make sense of some of their challenges and bring their mind back to balance they might avoid mental health problems later on in life, as well as perform better now.

How are The Wise Bear Stories different?
Wise Bear Stories are different... they are not morally based trying to teach right from wrong, nor do they always follow the common mindset models often promoted! Instead, they share timeless principles of true human behavior, which whilst known for centuries, is understood very little and coached even less.
The strapline for Wise Bear is... ‘Helping You Through Life’s Journey’ and that's exactly what I hope Wise Bear will do for children and families across the World. They are the perfect bedtime story.
Each story ends with an affirmation and a short exercise to reinforce the lesson a child has been reading about. This is a great opportunity for teachers & parents to work with the child and help them apply the lessons directly to their own life.
There are 6 stories in the first series, with 30 stories planned.
How did The Wise Bear thinking come about and how was it perfected?
Since a young age, Scott Cranfield has been fascinated with and studied ways to help himself and others live the most inspired and fulfilled life possible. His journey has involved travelling the World attending countless programs and courses covering just about every area of life with the World’s leading teachers.
As a father, he wanted to share the best of what I had learnt with my children. He found a very effective way of doing this was through bedtime stories. He would create stories involving the challenges and anxieties his children had experienced that day and at the centre of each story, He created a character called Wise Bear. During the story, the children would share with Wise Bear what was upsetting them or causing them to feel anxious. Wise Bear would use his vast experience and wisdom and share a whole new way of looking at these concerns to bring acalming balance to the children’s mind, a balance they couldn't find on their own. Without a doubt, working on these stories has been the most inspiring work he has ever done. It's a project that has utilized and combined both his 30 years of coaching and 15 years as a father.

About the Author:
Scott Cranfield the Author of Wise Bear has coached at the highest level for over 30 years, appearing on TV, radio, magazines, as well as hosting multiple seminars and being a key note speaker. His coaching covers subjects from life coaching and family relationships, to sport and business. You can read his story here:

The Feedback The Wise Bear Stories has had:
During the research stage, the most common feedback I received was... “this information and help is badly needed” Please check out some of the testimonials on the website, including some from leading educators, doctors and psychiatrists.

Scott has started to visit schools to share Wise Bear thinking and principles with the pupils. These sessions have proved very beneficial for the children with some wonderful testimonials received. In May 2019 the BBC took an interest in this approach and filmed Scott working with the children at a primary school. You can see the clip here... BBC News Website: the-story-books-bringing-help
Part of Scott’s mission is to get the books into 1000 schools and to that end, he will be looking at ways to support schools that are interested in having The Wise Bear Stories in their library. Scott will be hosting webinars offering free support coaching to teachers who are interested in sharing this approach in their school.

Our Media:
To find more information about The Wise Bear stories, heres where you can find us: The website,
Instagram: @thewisebearstories


A "good" story for a change - truly remarkable.


The Leica is the pioneer 35mm camera. It is a German product -
precise, minimalist, and utterly efficient. Behind its worldwide
acceptance as a creative tool was a family-owned, socially oriented
firm that, during the Nazi era, acted with uncommon grace, generosity,
and modesty. E. Leitz Inc., designer, and manufacturer of Germany's
most famous photographic product saved its Jews.

And Ernst Leitz II, the steely-eyed Protestant patriarch who headed
the closely held firm as the Holocaust loomed across Europe, acted in
such a way as to earn the title, "the photography industry's

As soon as Adolf Hitler was named chancellor of Germany in 1933, Ernst
Leitz   II began receiving frantic calls from Jewish associates,
asking for his help   in getting them and their families out of the
country. As Christians, Leitz   and his family were immune to Nazi
Germany's Nuremberg laws, which   restricted the movement of Jews and
limited their professional activities.

To help his Jewish workers and colleagues, Leitz quietly established
what has become known among historians of the Holocaust as "the Leica
Freedom   Train," a covert means of allowing Jews to leave Germany in
the guise of   Leitz employees being assigned overseas.

Employees, retailers, family members, even friends of family members
were "assigned" to Leitz sales offices in France, Britain, Hong Kong
and the United States, Leitz's activities intensified after the
Kristallnacht of November 1938, during which synagogues and Jewish
shops were burned across Germany.

Before long, German "employees" were disembarking from the ocean liner
Bremen at a New York pier and making their way to the Manhattan office
of   Leitz Inc., where executives quickly found them jobs in the
photographic industry Each new arrival had around his or her neck the
symbol of freedom - a new Leica camera. The refugees were paid a
stipend until they could find work. Out of this migration came
designers, repair technicians, salespeople, marketers, and   writers
for the photographic press.

Keeping the story quiet The "Leica Freedom Train" was at its height in
1938   and early 1939, delivering groups of refugees to New York every
few weeks.   Then, with the invasion of Poland on Sept. 1, 1939,
Germany closed its borders. By that time, hundreds of endangered
Jews had escaped to America, thanks to the Leitzes' efforts. How did
Ernst Leitz II and his staff get away with it? Leitz, Inc. was an
internationally recognized brand that reflected credit on the newly
resurgent Reich. The company produced cameras, range-finders and other
optical systems for the German military. Also, the Nazi government
desperately needed hard currency from abroad, and Leitz's single
biggest market for optical goods was the United States.

Even so, members of the Leitz family and firm suffered for their good
works.   A top executive was jailed for working to help Jews and
freed only after the payment of a large bribe.

Leitz's daughter, Elsie Kuhn-Leitz, was imprisoned by the Gestapo
after she was caught at the border, helping Jewish women cross into
Switzerland. She eventually was freed but endured rough treatment in
the course of questioning. She also fell under suspicion when she
attempted to improve the living conditions of 700 to 800 Ukrainian
slave laborers, all of them women, who had been assigned to work in
the plant during the 1940s. (After the war, Kuhn-Leitz received
numerous honors for her humanitarian   efforts, among them the
Officer d'honneur des Palms Academic from France in   1965 and the
Aristide Briand Medal from the European Academy in the 1970s.)

Why has no one told this story until now? According to the late Norman
Lipton, a freelance writer, and editor, the Leitz family wanted no
publicity for its heroic efforts. Only after the last member of the
Leitz family was dead did the "Leica Freedom Train" finally come to
light. It is now the subject of a book, "The Greatest Invention of the
Leitz Family: The Leica Freedom Train," by Frank Dabba Smith, a
California-born   Rabbi currently living in England.

Thank you for reading the above, and if you feel inclined as I did to
pass it along to others, please do so. It only takes a few minutes.

Memories of the righteous should live on.