Tag Archives: Fiction

Must read that also asks- “What Is the Meaning of Life?” and is God guiding your decisions-A Book Review

ED HELD—Text From Above: Here is a novel that is crazy, intriguing and tells of Ghost Writing and bankrupting a New Orleans Newspaper! Confessions of a Self-Help Writer: The Journal of Michael Enzo, Hardcover by Benjamin DeHaven. A ghost, a philanthropist, a con man, a devout Catholic, a gigolo, a savior, an heir, a common man, a writer, and an addict are just some of the words used to describe Michael Enzo. He defrauded an industry for almost 20 years by exploiting people’s insecurities and profiting from them. After failing to make an impact on society he began to destroy those closest to him, including Benjamin DeHaven, the author of this book. Here’s one book you must read that also asks you- “What Is the Meaning of Life?” and is there really a God upstairs guiding your decisions! —If you ever wanted a sneak- look into the madness that festers in Big Easy, pick up this book for a feast of irregularities!

ed

Advertisements

Popular self-help books written by con-man drug addict with no sense of social responsibility

Review: Confessions of a Self-Help Writer (The Journal of Michael Enzo)-Marc Hershon 

A Novel by Benjamin W. DeHaven The best books start with an engaging premise and Benjamin DeHaven’s can be reverse engineered into a kind of conspiracy theory: What if the most popular self-help books were secretly written by one person? Then consider that the person behind the writing abuses alcohol and drugs to excess, has no sense of social responsibility, and is the very last person someone in need would seek out for counsel or advice.-That person would be Michael Enzo.

Author DeHaven has come into possession of Enzo’s voluminous journal, outlining a number of his exploits and encounters in the first person. It’s a rollicking ride with some somber encounters sprinkled throughout, a diary of sorts from a man possessed of a writing skill which keeps getting him work, so long as he’s writing in another person’s voice. (Along the way, Enzo also manages to pen two novels under his own name, neither of which finds much in the way of critical acclaim or financial success.)

By his claims, Enzo has ghostwritten tell-all books for movie stars, politicians, and business leaders, in addition to a fleet of books in the self-help genre. As his life of addiction and disorganized crime unfolds, we see these books were mostly written while on the run or in hiding, mostly in an effort to scrape together enough money to survive or to pay off a debt just in time thus allowing Enzo to scurry off to his next odd encounter.

From time to time, DeHaven himself surfaces during the adventure, to be alternately enthralled with Enzo or swindled by him in some way. (At one point, DeHaven gets stuck running an “art newspaper” when Enzo invites him to join the staff, only to bolt and leave him holding the reins of a publication on the brink of failure.)

We feel a sense of Enzo’s displacement through the non-linear telling of his exploits, time-slipping as it does from drug-addled adult moments to Enzo’s youth, his college days (with several institutions being involved), and early business beginnings.

There’s love, or loves, of a sort and here the tale of Michael Enzo engenders a true sense of confusion – or perhaps it’s merely fusion – as every women with whom he has anything resembling a relationship with is named Susan. (Including his mother) Each Susan is distinguished by one characteristic or another – Susan, the Dove soap model; Susan, the crazy cheerleader; Susan, who sells toilets. To blur the lines between author and subject even more, DeHaven is living with one of the Susans that Enzo was in love with (Confessions is even dedicated to “Susan”.)—Throughout the book, Enzo has peppered his journal with self-help tidbits, mostly the kinds of affirmations that adherents to such literature scribble onto Post-It notes and stick on their bathroom mirrors: The best things are usually done on impulse. To be successful in any venture, you must appreciate the failure of the heroes around you. Escape is impossible without knowledge.

And Enzo mentions enough run-ins with celebrities that we must have caught a glimpse of him, though perhaps only in our peripheral vision. There’s the incident where he almost gets on Oprah but is deemed just uninteresting enough to not be on the show. He claims to have worked on TV’s E/R, the job given as a favor from an unnamed star on the show for whom Enzo ghostwrote yet another self-help book. (He tells the story of the show’s Director of Photography betting him he won’t hit cast member George Clooney in the face with a snowball. He does.)—

Vast amounts of money seem to slip through Enzo’s hands like water, most of it from other people’s pockets for whom he is supposed to place bets or purchase things, only to always drink, snort, or piss it away. The resulting balance of his exploits invariably forcing Enzo into slaving away to pay it off or running away into the night, only to surface in another situation where he has metamorphosed into something else to get by.—Enzo’s final journal entry gives us hope that he has perhaps begun to take some of his own advice, as well as reveals that he’s flying off to begin a life with much of his old baggage left behind.

Marc Hershon is co-author of I Hate People! Kick Loose from the Overbearing and Underhanded Jerks at Work and Get What You Want Out of Your Job. He has written a number of movies for the Hallmark Channel, writes a blog and reviews for Huffington Post, and hosts Succotash, the Comedy Podcast Podcast. As Creative Director of Lexicon Branding in Sausalito, CA, he has helped to create a number of internationally-known brand names, including BlackBerry, Dasani, and Swiffer.

Popular self-help books written by con-man drug addict with no sense of social responsibility

Confessions_updated_THumbnailARe

Google Plus Page: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+BenDeHaven/posts

https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/110197277772078157598/+Bdehaven/about

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20308290-confessions-of-a-self-help-writer

Succotash

Link

Exposing the roots of deception is an act of contrition and an effort to seek forgiveness.

Donovan’s Bookshelf 

Exposing the roots of deception is an act of contrition and an effort to seek forgiveness.

Diane Donovan, Senior eBook Reviewer, Midwest Book Reviewhttp://www.midwestbookreview.com/mbw/jun_14.htm#donovan

www.bdehaven.com

Michael Enzo was a fraud. He was also a philanthropist. He was also a gigolo. And a devout Catholic. He profited from people’s insecurities and when that wasn’t enough he began systematically psychologically destroying those closest to him – including author Benjamin W. DeHaven.

So why would DeHaven then salvage his former friend’s journal from his New Orleans estate after Hurricane Katrina and publish it; especially since he was involved in Enzo’s self-help industry deceptions?

Simple: the act of publishing a journal exposing the roots of deception is an act of contrition and an effort to undo the harm that they caused .

And who will be the likely reader of Confessions of a Self-Help Writer? That would be the reader already interested in the self-help field (possibly even those already familiar with Enzo’s works) who want a deeper understanding of the entire operation, from Enzo’s personality and motivations to the author’s own rationale for participating in Enzo’s schemes.

Now, forgiveness is a powerful motivator – and so is guilt. Without either in place, Confessions of a Self-Help Writer likely wouldn’t have seen the light of day. And another powerful force at work here is egotism: specifically, Michael Enzo’s drive to control and change his world and the worlds of others. Without THAT piece in place, he wouldn’t have formed the schemes he did, nor candidly wrote about them in this journal. Consider the power of the voice that explains his perspective: ““I am one of the feeble who have to hit rock bottom before they can put things in perspective.  Besides, once you hit rock bottom, you can start publishing self-help books in your own name, as long as you’re famous. Mine will be a great testimonial to the will of men. When you’ve physically and mentally demolished the physical representation of your soul, suddenly you become an incredible healer, according to my books.”

Add to this dose of autobiography a series of revelations that systematically show how darkness enters a common man’s soul and how it twists motivation to ultimately foster deceptive practices and you have a satisfying blend of autobiography, journal entries, and insights into not just one man’s obsession, but the psychological trappings of the self-help industry as a whole.

Eye-opening (even eye-popping, at points) and involving, Confessions of a Self-Help Writer (The Journal of Michael Enzo) reads like a thriller but is true life confession at its best.

Benjamin W. DeHaven

Lagniappe Publishing

9780989912686   $22.95

Donovan, eBook Reviewer, MBR (Midwest Book Review)

You Tube Channel Art

Link

If you hate Free Money and Books-Don’t click these links.

If you hate Free Money and Books-Don’t click these links.

Starting in a Few Hours. Goddess Fish Promotions is running an awesome Blog Tour for Confessions of a Self-Help Writer (The Journal of Michael Enzo). These are the links to a few of the amazing blogs that were kind enough to host information, ask great questions, and even sometimes show a cover, but always offer to giveaway Amazon gift Cards and some signed Hardcover books. *If we are already friends on Facebook, or Twitter, or you have seen some fun youtube interviews–You are already registered for free-but to confirm, you need to see one of these sites and click to confirm on the day listed below. Who knows-you might actually find some other cool things to see! But if you hate free Money and books, then just keep watching those virtual cat videos and please disregard!

October 13: Bookgirl Knitting
October 13: MAD Hoydenish
October 14: Our Wolves Den
October 15: Welcome to My World of Dreams
October 16: Coffee Books and Art
October 16: Unabridged Andra’s
October 17: Black Heart Magazine
October 17: Room With Books
October 20: Deal Sharing Aunt
October 20: Joan Says
October 21: It’s Raining Books
October 22: The blog of C.R. Moss
October 22: A Book Addict’s Delight
October 23: Celticlady’s Reviews
October 23: Lisa Haselton’s Reviews and Interviews
October 24: Straight from the Library
October 27: The Write to Read
October 28: Writer Wonderland
October 29: Margay Leah Justice
October 29: Sexy Adventures Passionate Tales
October 30: Wake Up Your Wild Side
October 31: Long and Short Reviews
October 31: Literary Lunes Magazine
November 3: The Cerebral Writer
November 4: Zee Monodee – Author’s Corner
November 4: SBM Book Obsession
November 5: Bunny’s Review
November 6: Books N Pearls
November 6: Paranormal Romance and Authors That Rock
November 7: Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews

confessions

Laugh-out-loud funny at times and a very quick read.

The Grand Adventure Review——Link: http://thndrstd.tumblr.com/post/91861843311/confessions-of-a-self-help-writer-the-journal-of

Full Text: A short and very funny novel that rips into the self-help and celebrity culture of modern times. Michael Enzo writes self-help books, many under the names of famous celebrities, even though his own life – financially, spiritually, and romantically – is a complete shambles, complete with heavy drugs and illegality. Ben DeHaven, his friend and colleague, finds Enzo’s journal after he disappears and publishes it with his own notes regarding the mess that is Michael Enzo. Laugh-out-loud funny at times and a very quick read.

The Journal of Michael Enzo

Confessions of a Self-Help Writer

A Perennial Read with Questions left to answer

I have read it, and what a wild ride it was! I especially like the quotes or offers of advice in the outlining type, very creative and I think I’ve heard some of them before but it might have been written by somebody else I was reading at the time. The book feels like an open letter to capture a man who may or may not want to be found. I laughed a lot, felt sympathy and then wished I was Enzo a few times but I don’t have the guts or ten lives it would take to get the nerve up to be him. Well written and entertaining and this book leaves more questions to be answered that actually answers them, could a sequel be in the works, maybe an answer to a petition filed in court, who knows, either way it was a great read and something I’ll keep as a perennial.

Jeff Rodgers Review-Confessions of a Self-Help Writer

“A Perennial Read with Questions left to answer”

Confessions_updated_midRes

Link

Strictly for Grownups-bc Confessions seems so real, but it is never boring?

Strictly for Grownups-bc Confessions seems so real, but it is never boring? 

Book Views by Alan Caruba   http://bookviewsbyalancaruba.blogspot.com/2014/06/bookviews-july-2014.html

Confessions of a Self-Help Writer: A Journal of Michael Enzo by Benjamin W. Dehaven ($22.95, Lagniappe Publishing), is strictly for grownups, as much a comedy as a tragedy, as it tells the story of Enzo, a ghostwriter for the rich and famous, and the author of successful self-help books in his own right who faces having to write another to pay his debts. He may be able to tell others how to cope, but his own life has been filled with all manner of misdeeds that include depravity, substance abuse, and emotional complexity. This is a difficult book to describe because it seems so real, but it is never boring.

Confessions of a Self-Help Writer (The Journal of Michael Enzo)

Confessions of a Self-Help Writer (The Journal of Michael Enzo)

Foreword Magazine Reviews Confessions of a Self-Help Writer (The Journal of Michael Enzo)

Foreword Logo

HUMOR

Confessions of a Self-Help Writer: The Journal of Michael Enzo

Benjamin W. DeHaven Lagniappe Publishing 978-0-9899126-8-6 (July 2014)

This pontificating, self-centered character offers unexpected insight in an entertaining and edgy way.

Michael Enzo is the type of protagonist you will either love or hate, and Benjamin DeHaven gives readers plenty of reasons to feel passionately one way or the other in Confessions of a Self-Help Writer.

The titular confessions are—according to narrator Benjamin DeHaven—Enzo’s own journal entries. They have less to do directly with his ghostwriting of self-help books than his random autobiographical experiences of varying depravity and the roads he has happened upon along the way. DeHaven’s interspersed chapters of commentary provide the motivation for publishing the journal as an act of revenge for his own less-than-ideal situation, for which he holds Enzo responsible.

Quirky and inarguably unique in both style and content, Confessions of a Self-Help Writer is sure to evoke strong reactions. Taken at face value, Enzo is a crass and self-involved character, reprehensible in both word and deed for the most part, and with seemingly little sense of responsibility or depth of feeling. However, as with most interesting protagonists, there are layers to his personality and moments that hint at a deeper emotional core to his character. The occasional interruption by DeHaven provides a grounding point at which readers will be reminded that this journal is presented by someone with a biased point of view and an ax to grind.

Enzo is a drunk (and an occasional drug user) who pontificates while urinating into crowds and refers to every woman he knows, including his mother, as “Susan.” His poor attitudes and behaviors started early on, when as a Boy Scout he was the proverbial bad seed, the one who “led three other scouts to destroy the bowline knot that was tied to a self-made latrine post, forcing unsuspecting friends to fall into a pit of their own feces.” That he later found a brief leadership role within the troop seems rather undeserved, but it’s indicative of his ability to manipulate others.

The book is sprinkled with Enzo’s words of wisdom, helpfully emphasized in boldface, which appear to signify personal epiphanies.

DeHaven runs a risk that readers will be lost in Enzo’s offensiveness, yet those who press on may see him as a metaphor for various societal ills and dichotomies of daily life. Confessions of a Self-Help Writer is an entertaining if slightly disturbing tale of a man who is consistently devoted to being own worst enemy.

Jeannine Chartier Hanscom

Foreword Magazine Fall 2014, P.77-78

Foreword Mag Cover Foreword Review