Books you might enjoy, and the stories behind them.

  • Ray Zinn: “Tough” Equals Success July 4, 2017
     As the 2017 Sensors Expo and Conference has just concluded, we’re rebroadcasting a popular episode, featuring one of their 2016 keynote speakers.    Over Coffee® will publish a new episode next Friday, July 7th.
    Author and entrepreneur Ray Zinn with his wife at Sensors 16 booksigning

    Getting the “tough things” out of the way is a crucial leadership skill for any business owner, says tech entrepreneur Ray Zinn.

    Ray, who is  Silicon Valley’s longest-serving CEO, is the author of the book Tough Things First.    In 1978, he founded his independent semiconductor company, Micrel, in Silicon Valley.  Ray would serve as Micrel’s CEO for a total of thirty-seven years, retiring in 2015.

    Ray Zinn delivering a keynote speech at Sensors Expo 2016

    Delivering a keynote speech at the 2016 Sensors Expo and Conference, in San Jose, Ray told his audience. “Every morning, when I get up, I think of all the things I don’t want to do–and I do them first.”

    Shortly after the 2016 Sensors Conference, we had the opportunity to talk with Ray about his book Tough Things First, in which he details the practices that led to his success as an entrepreneur–and the principles which allowed him to enjoy the journey.

    On this edition of Over Coffee® you’ll hear:
    • How Ray’s growing-up years prepared him to succeed in Silicon Valley;
    • The unforgettable lesson his father taught him, during his college years;
    • A key success technique for small-business entrepreneurs;
    • The routine Ray used, to make his days at Micrel go smoothly;
    • A technique for learning from mistakes;
    • What entrepreneurs need to know about “frugality” versus “cheapness” in daily operations;
    • How a “business culture” applies to smaller entrepreneurs;
    • The difference between creating a business that lasts, versus one that’s “flashy”;
    •  A business’s most important area on which to focus  (and it isn’t making money!)
    • How Ray developed an essential entrepreneurial skill.
       (Had to miss the Sensors Expo and Conference this time?  Sensors Midwest, in Rosemont, Illinois, happens October 2-4, 2017!)
  • Getting Healthy in the “Real World” November 25, 2016
    Cover design courtesy of Brenda, at, and used with permission.

    Cover design courtesy of Brenda, at, and used with permission.

    Over Coffee® is on hiatus for the 2016 Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.  We’ll be rebroadcasting some of the most popular episodes from 2016 for the next few weeks.  Have a great holiday!

    Turkey, cranberries, cookies…parties, social events, family get-togethers.

    And if you’re an entrepreneur, you can expect to have very little time, combined with more opportunities for temptation than usual, during the Christmas season.


    Author/entrepreneur Maxwell Ivey, Junior knows all about staying healthy under less-than-ideal circumstances.  Max, who grew up in the carnival business, published his second book, It’s Not the Cookie, It’s the Bag, earlier this year.  Not a diet book, It’s Not the Cookie examines ways to modify your behavior and make healthy choices.

    Max acknowledges that “it’s not easy”, for anyone who wants to lose weight.  Raised in the carnival business, Max grew up with unhealthy food choices and competitive environments.   At one time, he was morbidly obese, weighing over five hundred pounds.  After a health crisis, a doctor gave him a warning: lose weight or die.

    Consequently, Max embarked on a behavior-modification program, losing enough weight to have gastric surgery.   With the surgery, he ultimately lost more than two hundred fifty pounds.  In his book, he shares what he learned about weight loss, and the techniques that worked for him in keeping the weight off.

    Goal-setting for success is something at which Max excels.    He has built his small business, selling carnival equipment online through his website The Midway Marketplace, from scratch.   Max, who lost most of his vision at the age of twelve, is also a public speaker and life coach who helps others take action towards their dreams through his website, The Blind Blogger.

    This past summer, Max was one of the writers selected from among more than six hundred applicants for the second annual Amtrak Residency program.  Look for him to be helping a lot more people achieve their dreams in the future!

    (This podcast is for informational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice.  Please contact a healthcare professional with any medical or nutritional questions.)
    On this episode of Over Coffee®, you’ll hear:
    • What precipitated Max’s new healthy lifestyle;
    • How Max decided to write his second book, It’s Not the Cookie, It’s the Bag;
    • One of the misconceptions Max discovered, about “eating healthy”;
    • Max’s recommendation for making exercise time productive, rather than boring;
    • What “modern meditation” is, and how it can fit naturally into a workday;
    • How to deal with busy schedules and limited food choices;
    • A “survival tip” for traveling;
    • Affirmations and how to stay positive during challenging situations;
    • How Max stayed positive during his most difficult day as an entrepreneur;
    • Max’s suggestions for getting through a rough day without bingeing;
    • His “within-reach”approach for changing an unhealthy lifestyle;
    • The reasons cutting down on coffee might be a good idea;
    • The strategy behind his book’s title;
    • Healthy and good-tasting foods to take to work;
    • Max’s experiences as an author after publishing his first book, Bringing You Out of the Darkness Into the Light.


  • Keeping Horror Fans Under His Spell October 7, 2016
    (Photo courtesy of Peter Saenz, and used with permission.)

    (Photo courtesy of Peter Saenz, and used with permission.)

    Author Peter Saenz puts his readers right inside his characters’ worlds.

    His imagination transports you, from a small town at twilight…to a sterile hospital room…to a laboratory cage.

    Then, when supernatural and sci-fi elements enter his stories, they seem like the most natural occurrences in the world.


    If Peter’s name sounds familiar, that’s because he’s also the author of the “Coven of Wolves” supernatural trilogy.    This magical series combines fantasy, epic battles and ancient mythology with a gentle love story.   (His third, and final, book in the series is scheduled for publication in early 2017.)

    Peter has just published three new short stories in the LGBTQ-themed horror anthology “In Darkness Peering: Tales From the Bent Side.  He’ll be reading his short story “The Gift” at San Gabriel Valley Pride’s fifteenth Pride Festival, on Saturday, October 15th.

    And you’re invited to come hear him and enjoy this free, family-oriented community event!   San Gabriel Valley Pride’s “XV on the 15th” starts at 11:00 am in Pasadena’s Central Park.  They’ll have the “Big Draw Community Art Project”, a children’s area, multicultural musical performances, exhibits and food.  Readings start at noon in their Authors’ Lounge; Peter will be reading “The Gift” at 2:00 that afternoon.

    Peter talked about his background, elements of his creative process and shared the “stories behind the stories” in his new work.

    On this edition of Over Coffee® you’ll hear:
    • How Peter’s growing-up years fed his imagination as a storyteller;
    • The real-life experience that led to the creation of his short story “Going Home”;
    • Some of the elements at play in “Going Home”;
    • The writer’s technique that allowed Peter to put his readers into the main character’s experience;
    • How a comical moment in this particular story reflects his growing-up memories;
    • The origins of his second horror story, “Subject 014: Feline;
    • What the creative process is like for him, as a writer;
    • How Peter puts a new spin on a traditional horror-literature theme, in “The Gift”;
    • How he adds dimension to his characters, to make them live;
    • Peter’s plans for his future work;
    • What he considers his best challenge, as a writer;
    • His advice to fellow writers.
    Peter will be reading his short story, “The Gift”, in the Author’s Lounge during San Gabriel Valley Pride’s fifteenth Pride Festival, on Saturday, October 15th. 
    San Gabriel Valley Pride’s “XV on the 15th” runs from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm, Saturday, October 15th in Pasadena’s Central Park.  This is a family-friendly free event, and everyone’s invited!  Exhibits, a children’s activity area, live entertainment and “The Big Draw LA” will all be part of the festivities, and live readings start at noon in the Authors’ Lounge.  Here’s the link for more information.
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