Amplify Publishing Celebrates Women’s History Month

March is Women’s History Month, which means there’s no better time to highlight a few of our current and upcoming female Amplify authors who are positively impacting the world through their work and their books. There’s never a bad time to support these women and their big ideas—but we’d like to take a special moment to celebrate them this month.

Available Now

Val RiesVal Ries
Chief Inspiration Officer: How to Lead the Team Everyone Wants to Be On

Val Ries has spent years turning around struggling teams, uplifting low morale, and making sure that workplace productivity actually works. As the founder of Executive Muse, a company dedicated to leadership development, she has been applauded for her ability to build fast rapport, make substantive change, and get to the root of challenges. From small businesses to Fortune 500 companies, Val has been a highly sought-after leadership trainer, previously holding a variety of upper-level management positions that led to both an MBA and a coaching certification in her field. Val resides in the San Francisco Bay Area, and you can find her trying out a new move on the dance floor or walking her dog with friends and family. While she has been busy inspiring people and businesses, she also wrote a book about her work and teaching others how they can inspire their teams and co-workers.

Her book, Chief Inspiration Officer is a thought-provoking guide filled with stories, strategies, and techniques to achieve your leadership vision. With modern, real-world advice culled from years of experience in the corporate workforce, Val Ries coaches you on how to lead a high-performing team everyone wants to be on.

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Shanti BrienShanti Brien
Almost Innocent: From Searching to Saved in America’s Criminal Justice System

Shanti Brien has a bachelor’s degree in Ethnic Studies from UC Berkeley and a JD from Stanford Law School. She is an accomplished criminal defense attorney, with a specialty in appeals and post-conviction proceedings. She is co-founder of Fogbreak Justice, an education and consulting company with the mission to transform the criminal justice system through experiences which reduce bias, promote fairness, build community trust, and create equity. Shanti writes about criminal justice and other social justice issues on Medium @shantibrightbrien. She co-authored June Jordan’s Poetry for the People: A Revolutionary Blueprint (Routledge, 1995); and contributed to The Road to Independence: 101 Women’s Journeys to Starting Their Own Law Firms (American Bar Association, 2011) and Lose the Cape: The Mom’s Guide to Becoming Socially and Politically Engaged (Kat Biggie Press, 2018). She lives in the East Bay with her husband and three kids.

Her book, Almost Innocent, is part memoir, part political commentary and details the stories of nine legal cases and goes behind the headlines to break down the dichotomies our country grapples with—us versus them, good versus bad, guilt versus innocence, Black versus White—and challenges us to explore the humanity in between.

Weaving stories of the obviously guilty to the surprisingly innocent, Almost Innocent is a love letter to the author’s clients. Though their profiles are as individual as their sentences—the teenage gang member whose gun never fired, the victim of the world’s most vindictive HOA, the soft-spoken three-strikes rapist, and the get-away driver—all touched Shanti Brien’s life in surprising ways. They saved her from stupid mistakes, strengthened her football-ravaged marriage, and taught her about humility, redemption, and humanity.

Almost Innocent is an intimate portrait of the criminal justice system, offering suggestions for what it could be: more fair, more humane, and more just.


Coming This Year

Tara Jaye FrankTara Jaye Frank
The Waymakers: Clearing the Path to Workplace Equity with Competence and Confidence – Coming May 3, 2022

Tara Jaye Frank is an equity strategist who has advised and educated thousands of Fortune 500 executives across multiple industries and large member organizations. Her work, fueled by a deep belief in the creative power and potential of every one, focuses on building bridges between people, ideas, and opportunity.

Before founding her culture and leadership consultancy, Frank spent twenty-one years at Hallmark Cards, where she served in multiple executive roles, including vice president of creative writing and editorial, vice president of business innovation, vice president of multicultural strategy, and corporate culture advisor to the president.

Frank resides in Dallas, Texas, with her rock star husband, two of their six children, and their three dogs. She is also a proud Spelman alumna, and a member of the Executive Leadership Council, the Network of Executive Women, and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

In her book, The WaymakersFrank outlines how influential leaders can clear the path to workplace equity using case studies, data, and evocative storytelling.

Beyond strategies and systems, what really drives workplace equity and inclusion?

The truth is, all historically excluded professionals who have broken through to greater levels of belonging and achievement have succeeded not by systems change alone, but because leaders with power and position chose to remove barriers, open doors, and guide them toward their goals. The bottom line: someone made a way for them.

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Eleanor BlayneyMarjorie FoxEleanor Blayney, MBA, CFP® & Marjorie L. Fox, JD, CFP®
Women Wise: The Essential Guide to Financial and Lifestyle Decisions as We Age – Coming June 7, 2022

Selected in 2015 as a “Woman to Watch” by InvestmentNews, Eleanor Blayney, MBA, CFP®, is nationally recognized as a pioneer for shaping the practice and ethical standards of the financial planning profession. Throughout her career, Eleanor’s particular focus was on the financial planning needs of women, and her 2010 book Women’s Worth: Finding Your Financial Confidence was written to address the money concerns of working women and their families.

Founder and CEO of FJY Financial, LLC, Marjorie L. Fox, JD, CFP®, retired at the end of 2018 after more than thirty years in the financial planning profession. She was named one of the “Twenty Most Influential Women to Watch” by InvestmentNews in 2015 and received NAPFA’s Robert J. Underwood Award for Distinguished Service in 2018.

In Women Wise, highly respected CFP® professionals Eleanor Blayney and Marjorie Fox tackle the biggest retirement obstacles and decisions women may face, including optimizing Social Security benefits, choosing a Medicare plan, and deciding whether to remain in their own homes or move to a senior community. Combining comprehensive and practical financial advice with deeply personal anecdotes about the challenges they both faced during their sixties and seventies, Eleanor and Marjorie emerge in Women Wise not only as experts but as companions traveling the same road as readers.

Informative and relatable, Women Wise is a must-read for any woman looking to embark on the rest of life’s journey with confidence, grace, and wisdom.

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Kristen ZimanKristen Ziman
Reimagining Blue: Thoughts on Life, Leadership, and a New Way Forward in Policing – Coming July 12, 2022

Since she was a little girl, Kristen Ziman wanted to be a cop. When Kristen joined the ranks, she knew she had found her tribe, and she devoted herself to becoming an asset to her profession. She rose through the ranks and became the first female lieutenant, commander, and police chief in the history of her department.

Although she is now retired from the force, Kristen is still passionate about policing, and believes the men and women who wear the uniform provide the best examples of selflessness. Her work explores her former profession while chronicling the colorful journey of life and leadership that taught her so many lessons.

Kristen lives in Naples, Florida, where she is following her personal mission to help elevate people and organizations and to thwart the next mass shooting through prevention and preparation.

Reimagining Blue is a passionate and personal look into a misunderstood profession from the vantage point of female police chief Kristen Ziman.

Ziman credits her colorful childhood for the temperament that led her to gravitate towards policing, a profession where chaos is all in a day’s work. She learned life and leadership lessons through the revelation of what not to do.

But nothing could have prepared Kristen for the turmoil that would unfold during her tenure. A pandemic, mass shooting, and civil unrest that threatened the trusting relationship between her department and her community would become her greatest professional challenges.

This deeply moving memoir is a story of resilience and perseverance in policing—and in life. It’s a raw and candid portrayal told by a flawed human about a noble profession suffering an identity crisis. Reimagining Blue is an urgent call to find a way forward, not because the system is broken, but because it can always be better.


Coming Soon

Dana RubinDana Rubin
Speaking While Female: 50 Speeches by Extraordinary American Women – Coming Soon

Dana Rubin is the founder and CEO of Speech Studio and a consultant, speechwriter, speaker, and trainer. A former award-winning journalist, she’s supported individuals at all career stages to become recognized, respected thought leaders and powerful communicators. She’s a popular public speaker on “The History of Women’s Speech” and a recognized expert on the overlooked history of women’s contributions to public oratory.

Her Kickstarter funding campaign for this project recently hit its goal within 24 hours, but she still needs your help to bring women’s speeches to the forefront. Donate now.

Her book, Speaking While Female, started with a question: did you ever wonder why all the greatest speeches in history were given by men? At least that’s what the history books have told us. But is it true?

Rubin decided to find out and spent two years digging into archives, memoirs, out-of-print books and old newspapers, excavating speeches by women — lots of speeches, hundreds and thousands of them. It turns out, the history books are wrong.

Women have been speaking up, loudly and proudly, for centuries, about every issue under the sun. They’ve been sharing their knowledge, stirring up their audiences, and changing the world with their words.

But history has forgotten about, ignored, and overlooked our voices. 

It’s time to change that.


Naren Aryal is the co-founder and publisher of Mascot Books and Amplify Publishing. After starting his career as a Washington lawyer, Naren launched Mascot Books in 2003 with the publication of his first book. As an author himself (How to Sell a Crapload of Books: 10 Secrets of a Killer Author Marketing Platform), Naren appreciates the opportunities and challenges facing storytellers. As a publisher, he’s well-versed in the market factors that determine a project’s ultimate level of success. Naren’s more than fifteen years of publishing experience have made him an expert in the editorial, production, distribution, and marketing arenas. He’s passionate about staying up-to-date on industry technology and trends and is a respected commentator on anything publishing-related.

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