Thanks, Lindsay!

I received a nice unexpected surprise today when I stumbled upon an enthusiastic testimonial about my book, Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything, by Lindsay Brown, managing editor at Beyond Words, which published my book. I had no clue she was going to write this. I only found out about it through my Google Alerts subscription. Here is what Lindsay wrote:


Managing Editor Lindsay Brown, shares with us her favorite book; the one she most enjoyed not only reading, but working on.

One of my ultimate favorite Beyond Words titles I’ve ever edited is Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything. This collection of inspiring and intimate stories was tirelessly compiled by author Phil Bolsta and offers the reader forty-five unique personal accounts told honestly and without fluff.

Out of the hundreds of books I’ve edited in my career, Sixty Seconds has always stood out in my memory. Why? I guess you remember those books that have the most personal and physical effect on you. This is a book that actually brought me to tears while I edited (there was some flat-out laughter too.)

Now understand that this type of reaction is almost impossible for an editor. You see, as the managing editor, you don’t actually ever have the time to just sit down and read the text cover to cover. You never get to drink up the story just for the joy of it. Instead, every line I read, I read analytically, tracking grammatical errors, typos, and the overall flow of the words. Rarely do I come across a book I’m working on that pulls me out of my methodical work mode, and turns me into just a reader. This book did just that, time and time again.

Just a few of my personal favorites:

• Disabled triathlete Jim MacLaren’s emotional premonition of an “amazing” life change horrifically plays itself out the very next morning.

• Author James Autry and former lieutenant governor of Iowa Sally Pederson learn valuable lessons of the heart from their disabled son.

• Baseball executive Mike Veeck is profoundly moved and forever changed by his young daughter’s indomitable courage as she faces her impending blindness.

• Human development expert Jean Houston unwittingly opens an astonishing spiritual doorway as a young girl.


Since my father had promised to send me to a Catholic school, I went to Saint Ephraim’s in Brooklyn. Everything was fine except that my father would “gag up” my catechism and give me the most interesting questions to ask the poor little nun in the morning, such as, “Sister Theresa, I counted my ribs and I counted Joey Mangiabella’s ribs, and we’ve got the same number of ribs. And I wonder, if God created Eve out of Adam’s ribs, how come we all have the same number of ribs?”

Before the startled nun could respond, I added, “I’ll prove it! One, two, three, go!” And right on cue, thirty little children lifted their undershirts.

Then there were the Jesus questions: “Sister Theresa, how do you know that Jesus wasn’t walking on rocks below the surface when he seemed to be walking on water?”; “Sister Theresa, when Jesus rose, was that because God filled him full of helium?”; and then finally, one day, the great question, the one that is in the mind of every little Catholic child at one time or another. This was such a great question, I checked it out beforehand with Denise Canzineri, who said, “Yeah, I’ve been wondering about that,” and Joey Mangiabella, who said, “Yeah, you’ve gotta ask that.”

Well, the mother superior was in the room that day. I raised my hand, and Sister Theresa, who by the way lisped a great deal, said, “Yesh?”

I said, “Sister Theresa”—I looked around and everyone was encouraging me—”did Jesus ever have to go to the bathroom?” Well, that did it.

Trust me . . . read Sixty Seconds. It may change your life or you may discover that you have your own incredible Sixty Second miracle to share. Phil Bolsta is waiting to hear all about it: visit or email him at

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