Currently Browsing: Inspiration

Cynthia Eggl: October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month; Author Shares Her Story of Survival

From time to time in this space, WestBow Press publishes brief accounts, written by our authors, about how self-publishing their books has affected their lives. The following are the words of Cynthia Eggl; breast cancer survivor and author of ““Boundless Blessings and God’s Grace – My Journey through Breast Cancer.”

I completed monthly breast self-exams, annual mammograms starting at age forty, annual physicals, with no indication of breast cancer.  Excruciating breast pain radiating out under my left arm finally forced me to my doctor’s office. Breast cancer doesn’t run in my family; I’m the first to be diagnosed with this disease. I was stunned when I learned I had stage

Cynthia Eggl chats with a reader at a recent book signing.

Cynthia Eggl chats with a reader at a recent book signing.

2b breast cancer in April 2011. Despite having a double lumpectomy, removal of nine lymph nodes, sixteen chemo, and thirty-three radiation treatments, I decided I would take action to help others—by educating people about being proactive, rather than reactive, and encouraging and inspiring them to offer up their walk to God, should they be placed in a similar circumstance. I chose faith over worry!

There is no doubt in my mind that God entrusted me with the message of hope, which I shared when I published my book, Boundless Blessings and God’s Grace—My Journey through Breast Cancer. Publishing a book was never on my bucket list. Many family members and those closest to me told me what an inspiration I had been to them and others throughout my battle. Writing my journal was cathartic—it helped me deal with my emotions, allowing me to provide updates as to how I was coping. But it also provided a way to spread the message to trust in God during challenging times, to educate people about awareness, preventative care, and offered a look from a patient’s perspective in surviving this grueling health ordeal as I fought for my life.

Eggl CoverA recent gratifying moment occurred when I stopped in an office to drop off my signed books, and by the time I left, I had sold and signed three more books. One person purchased my book because of a recent TV story I had done, and she wanted her sister, who had been recently diagnosed with stage 2b breast cancer, to be able to read it for encouragement. I have six book-signing events scheduled during October and November, giving me a chance to thank people for their prayers, compassion, and support.

I am still fighting the side effects of my breast cancer battle today, but I take whatever it is God gives me and make the most of every day. My favorite quote is, “You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.” I am quite simply grateful to be alive!

My book is available as an ebook, in paperback and hardcover, published by Westbow Press.  More information can be found at or my Facebook page at

– Cynthia Eggl

WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 300- 450 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books, are invited to do so by sending a message through our Facebook page at We may not be able to use every story, but we will read and consider them. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar and punctuation accuracy; as well as for space.

Fishing for Sales

WestBow Press author Leon R. HayduchokA few years ago, when I was first researching options for publishing my book, I saw warning signs posted all over the internet: Danger! Shark-infested waters!

If trying to get a book published is like swimming with sharks, then promoting a book is like going out to sea on a fishing expedition. For those writers able to get onboard with a major publishing outfit, the fishing is good. The big boats have expensive equipment that locate the fish, and they drop enormous nets, scooping up fish by the ton. It’s an impressive operation. Now I realize fishing on these big boats isn’t necessarily easy—the hours can get long, the waters can get rough, and the stink can get to you—but the fishing is usually good, really good.

For those of us who don’t climb onto a commercial boat, we step into our dinghies—alone—with a few rods and a tackle box. We don’t have expensive equipment to locate the fish, and we don’t cast a $30,000 marketing net to catch tons of sales. We just set our lines and wait, catching one fish at a time.

But what if we don’t catch many fish? What if we scarcely get a nibble? What then are we supposed to do? (more…)

Foods for the Writer’s Brain

Foods for the Writer's BrainIf you’re looking for a way to renew your focus and energy towards writing, the answer could lie in your eating habits. Don’t underestimate the power of food to motivate, energize or comfort you.

Feed your brain

Many studies out there show that certain foods can help boost, maintain and recharge brain activity. Eating these foods on a regular basis might help keep your brain healthy and ready for productive writing sessions.

  • Avocado
    This tasty green fruit is full of vitamins and nutrients that are thought to aid in cognitive brain functions. Make yourself some guacamole and get to work!
  • Beets
    The nitrates found in beets are said to increase the flow of blood to the brain. If you’ve only ever eaten beets from a can, a whole new world of fresh, delicious roasted beet recipes awaits you.
  • Walnuts
    Another food with healthy fatty acids and antioxidants, walnuts pack a mean nutritional punch. Eat whole walnuts, including the skin!
  • Berries
    Berries are high in antioxidants that protect your brain cells. Eat healthy, antioxidant-rich foods — such as spinach, berries, garlic, etc. — on a daily basis.
  • Salmon
    Salmon is rich in healthy omega 3 fatty acids that are essential for brain function. Eat salmon or a similar type of fish once a week to regularly rebuild your brain cells.


Reward yourself

If you’re having a hard time sticking to your writing schedule, consider coupling the task of writing with a comforting, rewarding food habit. If you combine your writing time with ice-cream-eating time or hot-tea-drinking time, you’ll create an inviting, relaxing atmosphere that you’ll want to return to each day.

  • Coffee
    Enjoy a cup of coffee while you write. In moderation, the caffeine can help keep you alert and focused as you work.
  • Hot Tea
    When writing becomes stressful, a warm, cozy beverage should help ease your nerves. As a bonus, many types of tea are rich in healthy antioxidants.
  • Dark Chocolate
    Aside from its comforting deliciousness, dark chocolate contains powerful antioxidants and natural stimulants like caffeine.
  • Ice Cream
    We’re not aware of any health benefits here, but ice cream’s mysterious powers of motivation are not lost on anyone.


Tell us what you eat while you write!

A Solemn Day of Remembrance

Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you. John 16:22

Today we remember the lives of those who were tragically lost during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Although 11 years have passed since this catastrophic event occurred that changed America, the legacies of those souls who perished still live on.

Take a moment today to say a prayer for those families who were affected by this event and remember our heroes who lost their lives trying to save others. WestBow Press honors a few memories through select books. (more…)

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