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A Book to Help Get You Through This Holiday Season

Posted: 2021/11/29

Garden City Park, NY: Square One Publishers hopes everyone everywhere had a very Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving. Hopes and reality are sometimes two different things, though. With word now that COVID rates are again on the rise in Europe and in certain parts of the US, and the new Omicron variant starting to make its mark, the subject of immunity is very much on peoples' minds.

To aid you as the holiday season swiftly approaches, consider getting a copy of bestselling health author Dr. Pamela Wartian-Smith's newest book Max Your ImmunityHow to Maximize Your Immune System When You Need It Most ($16.95 USD, ISBN: 978-0-7570-0512-1).

A book like Max Your Immunity should be in everybody's home—especially now.

Stay happy, stay healthy, stay vigilant—stay safe.

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Posted: 2021/10/17

The Point
As a publisher, sometimes you come across projects that can
unexpectedly reshape the direction of your company and your life.
Take the subject of food and your health—Part One.

When I started out in the publishing business, I was lucky enough to land a job with a college textbook company, first as a salesperson and then as an associate editor. So when I started my first publishing company along with two partners, it was natural that we focused on what I knew: books and lab manuals designed for college courses. The problem was that our sales were seasonal, based solely on when semesters began. Having to wait months to get paid was hard on our cash flow, and after a time, I knew that we needed to do something different.

One of our printers told me about a book he had been printing for a customer. He said the interior of the book looked pretty bad, but based on the number of reprints, it must have been selling. He handed me a copy and told me to check it out. He wasn’t wrong about the way the book looked, but in spite of its unappealing appearance, it was selling. The question was why? It was essentially a cookbook that focused on raw fruits and vegetables and something called wheatgrass. Having been raised on meat and potatoes, I didn’t understand the attraction of a vegetarian-style cookbook, but it obviously had an audience. It made me think that this type of market might be worth checking out.

The author was a woman named Ann Wigmore, and she had founded a teaching center located in Boston called the Hippocrates Health Institute. I called the Institute to set up a meeting with Ms. Wigmore and was connected to Stephen Blauer, the Institute’s director. When I expressed my interest in Ms. Wigmore’s book, Stephen was kind enough to invite me to see the center and meet with Ms. Wigmore. A week later, I stood in front of a beautiful four-story turn-of-the century building in the heart of downtown Boston. When I walked inside, I was immediately stuck by the strong odor of grass, much like a freshly mowed lawn. I was met at the reception area by Stephen, who took me on a tour.

I learned that the Institute had become one of the most popular health centers in the country thanks to a number of articles that had appeared in some elite fashion magazines. And as we walked through the building, the crowded classrooms clearly showed just how popular the Institute had become. When I asked if this popularity was due to a growing interest in raw veggies, he said, “Not quite. People are sick and they want to be healthy.” He pointed out that the Standard American Diet was likely to kill more of us than any single illness—in fact, most illnesses could be linked to our poor eating habits. Although I heard what he was saying, I had no intention of changing the way I ate.

After our tour of the center, Stephen took me to meet Ann, who had a beautiful apartment on the top floor. She was plainly dressed, relatively thin, and spoke with a slight European accent. She offered me a drink—a glass of wheatgrass juice. It had a distinctive odor, similar to the one I first encountered downstairs but stronger. It tasted the way I imagined grass would taste, only it was sweeter and had a little kick.

We then sat down and had a very informative conversation. She told me how she had discovered the benefits of wheatgrass juice, why she believed raw fruits and vegetables made you healthier, and how the Institute came to be. I told her about my company and said that I was interested in publishing her recipe book. She said she appreciated my interest and that she would talk to Stephen about my offer. By the time we were done, I had finished my drink, and I have to admit that I was feeling pretty good.

Stephen met me downstairs. I told him that I enjoyed meeting Ann and felt that our conversation had gone well. I also told him I had tried the wheatgrass juice. At first, I didn’t think it tasted all that good—but by the time I had finished, it wasn’t all that bad. He had a big smile on his face. “Was it a little sweet?” he asked. When I nodded, he told me that Ann sometimes added a little honey and then aged it. Some of the sugar in the honey then turned into alcohol. I said to Stephen, “Well, I’ve only been here a few hours, and I’m feeling a lot healthier.” We both laughed. A few days later, Stephen called to inform me that Ann had given me the go-ahead to publish her book.

During the book’s editing process, Stephen and I spoke frequently about the book. But he also wanted me to understand the power of food, and he was very convincing—so much so that I decided to go on a raw vegetarian diet. I really didn’t think it was going to make a difference, but I promised Stephen I would give it a try. My daily meals consisted of fruits, salads, or both. On the third day of that diet, I woke up and knew something was different. For the first time since I was a kid, my nose wasn’t stuffed and I was able to breathe easily. Now, that may not sound like a big deal, but if you’ve suffered from sinusitis most of your life, waking up without feeling pressure in your head and being able to breathe normally is a blessing. I called Stephen that day and told him I felt the diet was working—and I thanked him for being so persistent. About three months later, I had lost about forty unwanted pounds and was feeling very good.

As fate would have it, the moment I woke up and was able to breathe freely was a turning point in both my life and the direction of my company. Over the years that followed, we published five additional Ann Wigmore titles, all of which became bestsellers. With the publication of her books, we were able to expand our sales into health food shops and trade bookstores, finally freeing us from the rigid college textbook market. My belief in the healing power of food has also guided my second publishing company, Square One. We have stayed on track, always looking to publish the best, most informative health-based vegetarian cookbooks and diet titles. And as you can you see from our titles below, our commitment to healthy eating is as strong as it ever was. However, as my next post will explain, this was my first step towards expanding both my company and my own view of what good health entails.

To see some of my previous posts, I invite you to visit our website at, and click the “NOTES FROM” tab.


Rudy Shur, Publisher
Square One Publishers, Inc.

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Square One's debut novelist and 7-time Emmy winner TERRY JASTROW visits the Square along with Oscar-nominated wife ANNE ARCHER

Posted: 2021/10/13

Garden City Park, NY: Square One started this week off with a fun and productive visit from our debut novelist—the seven-time Emmy award winning producer/director Terry Jastrow—accompanied by his Oscar-nominated actress Anne Archer to talk about his book with us entitled The Trial of George W. Bush ($16.95 USD, ISBN: 9780757005060).

A photo was taken of Ms. Archer and Mr. Jastrow alongside our VP of Marketing, Anthony Pomes, who made sure—while attending to ongoing plans for Terry's book—to compliment Anne's work in blockbusters like Fatal Attraction and Patriot Games alongside other projects as varied as Robert Altman's Short Cuts, Sylvester Stallone's 1978 directorial debut (and cult classic) Paradise Alley, and opposite the late great John Ritter in the sweet 1980 superhero comedy Hero at Large(See photo above.)

The picture was also picked this week by Publishers Weekly as the "Photo of the Day" in their PW Daily e-newsletter.

Based on a large measure of intense research by Jastrow over a number of years, The Trial of George W. Bush is a "fiction based on facts" and a conjectural one at that. While playing a round of golf on a course in Scotland, former President George W. Bush is picked up and helicoptered to the Hague's International Criminal Court in The Netherlands to "stand trial for war crimes and crimes against humanity." This fascinating trial brings together eyewitness testimony from a former Secretary of State, the Commander of US Central Command who oversaw military operations, an American counterterrorism expert, and a female Iraqi blogger, who reads from the blogs she wrote while Bush’s war was destroying her country starting back in 2003.

So far, the novel has been declared "provocative" (Publishers Weekly) and "controversial and enthralling" by top reviewer Grady Harp. More reviews are expected to come in, even as Jastrow soon intends to produce the audiobook version of his novel with acclaimed narrator Jim Meskimen. Meanwhile, Jastrow is just about finished with his second novel based around a series of friendships that are challenged and changed by the seismic events at play in America during the year 1969.

The Trial of George W. Bush: A Novel is available now on Amazon and wherever else books are sold.

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Posted: 2021/09/14

The Point
As a publisher, sometimes you unexpectedly come across
a miscarriage of justice that needs to be brought into the light.
Consider the subject of guardianships—and no, it’s not about Britney.

I had entered the courthouse to be with my cousin Morris. He was fighting to become the legal guardian of his wife, Sophie, who was suffering from Alzheimer’s. Morris had been my father’s partner in a bakery business for many years—he and Sophie had always been part of my life growing up—and when he asked me for support, I had to go. Since he was Sophie’s husband, I thought it would be a simple procedure, but it was not. Due to an ongoing family dispute, Morris was denied the right to be his wife’s legal guardian. The judge had also refused to make any other immediate family member guardian. Instead, he asked if there was another relative available and willing to become Sophie’s guardian.

At that moment, Morris turned to me. I agreed to become Sophie’s guardian, and to have Sophie as my ward. While I consented to take on this responsibility, I truly had no idea what I was getting myself into. I had no problem overseeing the welfare of my cousin. However, what I would eventually learn was how a legal system—designed to take care of people who could not take care of themselves—had become a gold mine for unscrupulous individuals who knew how to “play” the system.

I must admit that I was naïve. In order to become a guardian, all I had to do was watch a video and take a test. It was only after I was approved that I was told that I was going to be “co-guardian” alongside a lawyer who specialized in this area. I served as Sophie’s co-guardian for several years, supposedly working with the first court-appointed lawyer. However, while I did all the work, the co-guardian did little except submit a continual flurry of bills for her time. When the question was raised about her participation in front of the court, she was smart enough to resign without raising any red flags. At about this time, Morris passed away, and the court selected another co-guardian. This lawyer seemed to know just what to do, taking over what I had been doing for years. While the family continued to squabble, the one good thing was that Sophie was being well cared for by one of her two daughters.

When the guardianship started, Sophie still had a sizeable estate in her name. As time passed, I watched the money in Sophie’s bank account being used to pay off more legal fees, not only for the co-guardian’s services but also for those of the lawyer’s associates. Yet this was only the tip of the iceberg. There were other non-lawyers called in by this new co-guardian who charged Sophie for their “services,” as well. At one point, one of the lawyers involved told me that I should be billing Sophie’s estate for the time I was spending as a co-guardian, but I had never wanted a penny. By the time Sophie died, all of the money in her estate was gone. And all I could do was watch as these “guardianship” players nimbly extracted the money that Sophie and Morris had worked a lifetime to accumulate—all done legally, and under the court’s “supervision.” I quickly learned that sending off all manner of emails to elected officials and organizations such as AARP and the JDL was a complete waste of time. I needed to do something—anything.

I needed first to learn as much as I could about how our system of state-based guardianships worked, and what I discovered horrified me. In each state, the system allows guardians to essentially take over the lives of their wards. They control every aspect of the ward’s finances, living arrangements, and medical care as well as visiting arrangements with other family members and friends. And should a ward own any property but no longer possess the funds to pay the guardian, the guardian is allowed legally to sell off the ward’s assets in order to get paid. The guardian can even cast ballots on behalf of the ward to vote in elections—something about which judges running for re-election are obviously aware. As many stories reported in the news have shown, some truly greedy guardians do get caught. However, the ones who know how to play the system most often do not. As a book publisher, I needed to do the only thing that I knew I could do. I needed to find someone sufficiently knowledgeable to write a book about this legally supervised miscarriage of justice.

As I reviewed possible candidates, several names emerged. One person, though, seemed to be on a special mission to help unite families whose relatives had been trapped in this system. Dr. Sam Sugar is a medical doctor who, through firsthand experience, had seen just what a guardianship could do. Soon thereafter, he co-founded Americans Against Abusive Probate Guardianship (AAAPG), a nonprofit organization designed to help expose the corruption at the heart of each state’s guardianship system. When I asked if he wanted to write a book about this system, he readily agreed.

One year later, we published Guardianships and the Elderly: The Perfect Crime ($19.95 USD, ISBN: 978-0-7570-0433-9) to rave reviews (see below). To my surprise and continued dismay, the book has not yet brought about much-needed change. What it has done is provide a clear picture of how unwanted guardianships occur; establish a list of the crimes legally carried out by many guardians and their cohorts; and outline the options that families have at their disposal once a guardianship has been put in place.

I am not a lawyer, nor am I a politician or a hell-raiser. What I am is a publisher who still believes in the power of the printed word. It would be one thing if the co-guardians that I worked with had shown any compassion for my cousin. But for them, it was always about the money. Anyone who takes the time to read this book will understand that our parents, our friends, and even we can easily fall victim to this injustice. At least the reviewers who have read this book understand its important message. Here is what a few of them have said about this important book . . .

“A powerful voice in senior advocacy sounds the alarm on the guardianship industry’s gross abuses . . . explores the evolution of the guardianship process and its statutes, triggering scenarios, and mechanisms, offering clear, readable explanations of the legalities, appointed officials, and court probate structures involved . . . [Sugar’s] intent is to prevent others from suffering the financial and emotional struggle of a broken system and to empower readers to arm themselves with enough accessible knowledge and foresight to avoid the dizzyingly complicated guardianship arrangement altogether . . . smartly offers practical tips and alternatives to avoid abusive situations and to honor final intentions in the most respectful ways possible . . . A potent, important call to action for those preparing to assume or actively involved in the estate caretaking of an incapacitated loved one.” Kirkus Reviews

“Enlightens readers about the financial and psychological toll taken on vulnerable elderly people by corrupt court-appointed guardians . . . [author] Sugar, who estimates that as many as 14% of all guardianships involve some criminality, convincingly demonstrates that the system as a whole is broken . . . going beyond merely sounding the alarm, he recommends concrete ways for individuals to protect themselves and their loved ones . . . with the aging of the American population and the concomitant increase in expected guardianships, this is a timely and valuable cri de coeur [passionate appeal].”
                                                                                                                 —Publishers Weekly

“Guardians should be champions and protectors who look out for incapacitated people, but they too often take advantage financially of those in their care, argues Sugar, a medical doctor who founded Americans Against Abusive Probate Guardianship (AAAPG) . . . Readers who worry about the trustworthiness of court-appointed guardians who are supposed to protect the health, assets, and welfare of a ward will find their fears confirmed . . . this is certainly an informative look at an important yet little-understood subject.” —Booklist

And while these reviewers’ words have shed some light on these terrible injustices, it is only Britney Spears’ guardianship case that gets headlines. However, what Dr. Sugar’s book has done is create a small army of dedicated advocates around the country. All of whom have become knowledgeable about this system and its faults after reading the book. In addition, the book has served as a catalyst for change and legitimized the sincere and fervent complaints from victims and families nationwide. Until such time as the government mandates the collection of legitimate data on guardianships, it can be said that there is now no more reliable source for information about this problem than Guardianships and the Elderly. And at least now, for the family members and friends of those trapped in this system, Dr. Sugar’s book is there to help them see what lies in front of them—and what, if anything, they can do to help.

Kind regards,

Rudy Shur, Publisher
Square One Publishers, Inc.
Ph: 516-535-2010 x 111

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Everyone's Talking about the President Who Ended War in Afghanistan—But What About the One Who Started It? This Novel Paints a Very Clear Picture.

Posted: 2021/09/07

Garden City Park, NY: Consider the following statistics:
US military deaths—4,431
US military wounded physically and/or mentally in action—300,000 (approx.)
Cost paid by US taxpayers—Over $2 trillion dollars (Note: $8,000 USD per avg. American)

Now add what you see below to the already worrisome facts above:

Iraqi violent deaths—151,000
Iraqi "excess" deaths (mostly civilian, "non"-military): 1 million, 33 thousand (approx.)

Taken together, what you have are the published casualties of the 2003–2011 Iraq War brought to the world arena by the 43rd President of the United States, George W. Bush.

As reported only days ago by Washington Post reporter Ben Terris (to see the article, click here), "W." seems to have received a sizable facelift in contrast to the Trump presidency. In fact, America seems content now to regard Bush in relatively warm nostalgic terms—even as the media, Left and Right alike, wield a continued attack upon President Biden for ending the war in Afghanistan after twenty years.

And yet, what about the role played in all of this by President Bush—the one responsible for dragging the US into this mess in the first place?

Ask seven-time Emmy winning producer/director Terry Jastrow, and he will tell you that we need to reexamine far more closely the Bush presidency in the wake of Afghanistan . . . and on the eve of the 20th anniversary of "9/11."

That is exactly what Jastrow has done in his new novel, The Trial of George W. Bush ($16.95 USD, ISBN: 978-0-7570-0506-0). In his book, Jastrow imagines what would happen if President Bush were to be whisked off a golf course in Scotland and brought to stand trial for war crimes at the Hague International Criminal Court in The Netherlands. Though a fictitious scenario, Jastrow believes that there is a very compelling case to be made for President Bush's prosecution. As he now says, "Much is being made right now of America's withdrawal from Afghanistan, but what's barely mentioned is that George W. Bush caused the problem in the first place. Still unable to capture Osama bin Laden a year and a half after the '9/11' attacks here in the US, Bush instead turned the nation's attention to Saddam Hussein in Iraq . . . who had nothing to do with the attacks or bin Laden."

"Working from the claim," Jastrow continues, "that Hussein had weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) in Iraq—again, history shows us now that he did not—President Bush then waged an eight-year-long war that killed or wounded hundreds of thousands of people, Americans and Iraqis alike, and cost us trillions of dollars."

Now with both the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan declared over, the fervently anti-war Jastrow thinks that it is time for George W. Bush to be held accountable for his crimes. Or is he somehow above the law? Well, read Terry Jastrow's novel, The Trial of George W. Bush, and judge for yourself.

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