A lofty place for authors, writers, and readers to connect
Vol. 6 Issue 5
Writers in the Sky Newsletter
Whether you are a published author or a
writer-wanna-be, this e-zine is for you. Here, you will find
articles, book reviews, announcements, poetry, and information
about the craft and business of writing, publishing, and book
marketing written by our readers. Our goal is to connect the
writing and publishing community through networking.
A word from WITS owner Yvonne Perry
Trashing and Defacing Advance Copies of Books
by Irene Watson and Yvonne Perry
The Right Time to Launch A Business or Writing Venture
by Maxine Thompson
The Savvy Book Marketer Column
by Dana Lynn Smith
Book With a View
Read this month's book reviews
For Book Marketing Research, Use TitleZ
by Scott Lorenz
Poems from our readers
by Yvonne Perry
In April, my husband and I took a trip to South Carolina
where we enjoyed spending time with our kids and
grandkids while school was out for spring break. The
last day we were there,
the children had to go back to school, so we made a visit to the grandkids' classrooms to share
The Sid Series.
It was Heart Story day in Keilie's class and I was privileged to be interviewed by about twenty second
graders, who then drew a picture and wrote a short story about
what they thought of my visit. What a blessing it was to
receive the book they made for me, and know that I had touched the hearts of
such appreciative children!
I used this time in the classroom to draw upon my
teaching skills (I taught preschool and music for many
years) to help them define a word that many adults do not
fully understand. What does "holistic" mean? I explained the
body-mind-spirit concept of healthy living before I read "Old
Things New," one of the twelve stories in the book. When
I asked the kids to tell me what ways the story showed
Sidney using his physical body, thinking brain, and heart of
compassion, I was surprised at how well they responded. "Sid
used his body to pick up the trash in the neighborhood," one
boy said. "He used his brain to sort stuff for the yard
sale," another boy said. "He used his spirit to show love to
Mrs. Jones and Von-Von," a little girl said. That one nearly
brought tears to my eyes!
WITS client Tisha Morris starts her book tour May 11,
thanks to our new author's assistant, Vonnie Faroqui, who
has arranged more than 30 stops in as many days. Tisha has already had a profound impact upon my life.
Before I finished reading her book,
Feng Shui Your Home, I embarked upon a cleaning and reorganizing frenzy.
My laundry room has beeny freshly painted and reorganized, and my office workspace has been totally rebuilt.
I guess I should warn you that her book has this kind of effect so you can prepare
to get on your work clothes and bring some new energy into your home or workplace!
My cousin, James Jackson, has more than 20 years experience as a book restorer. He learned the trade from his father and took over the family
bindery business, Restor-A-Book, in the early part of this century when James Jackson Sr. died.
Recently, I left a book outside. Of course it rained that night and
the book got soaked. It wasn’t an expensive book, just one that I love and use a lot.
It has great photos of native flowers and was published by the Audubon Society in 1986. I searched online but didn’t find it available in print. Naturally,
I turned to my cousin for advice on the best way to dry out the book so the pages wouldn’t stick together or curl up. I wasn’t sure if I should try to iron it dry. Here is what James advised:
If the pages are enamel paper, they will more than likely stick together regardless of what you do, but to start with, you need to try to get most
of the water out of the book. Using a dry towel, pat each page to absorb the excess water. You might even put paper towels between the pages to draw the water out
of the paper. However, remove the paper towels as soon as they absorb water or they may stick and cause a worse mess. When you get as much of the water out as you
can, put the book in a frost free freezer and leave it for a month or two. The freezer will continue to draw moisture out of the book.
Even if you iron the pages, the spine will still be wet. It’s best to take the book apart and iron each page, but the iron only needs to be lukewarm.
If it sizzles, it is too hot and may burn the paper. When the pages are dry, send it to us and we will put it back together (rebind it) for you. If you have books, Bibles, church hymnals, genealogy papers, newspapers, tabloids, or courthouse record books that you want to preserve, give James a call.
See before and after photos of some miraculous transformations at
We had more articles submitted this month than I could
use in the template. If you contributed an article to this
month's issue and do not see it here, please keep a watch on
WITS E-zine blog: http://writersinthesky.blogspot.com/. Barbara, Sarah, and I have been swamped with client
editing work lately, so this issue of our e-zine was proofread by my
own dear mother.
Trashing & Defacing Advance Copies of Books
by Yvonne Perry
What do you do with advance copies or books when you are finished reviewing
them? Irene Watson, owner of Reader Views, posted an article, “Defacing Books: Why
Don't Authors Have Respect for their End Result?” on
I’ve excerpted portions of her post and gave my own reply below.
Did you just hear someone scream? Yes, that was me! Why? Because I'm looking at a stack of books that just came into this office for potential review and some of
them have been defaced. By defaced I mean:
"Review Copy" stamped or written on the cover, inside the book, and/or on the ends
"Not for Sale" written across the front cover or inside the book
Why would a proud author, who just published his or her book, deface their pride-and-joy? Is it because:
They have a fear someone (reviewer) will sell their book?
They feel if they deface it, then the person may actually buy a copy?
An expert in the industry told them to put "review copy" on the book?
Why would anyone, who spent hundreds of hours and finally getting to the stage of opening up that first case of books, smelling the newly printed ink, running their
hand over the smooth and shiny cover, immediately take a book out and deface it? This is the birth of a baby, and what do we do with a new born baby? We nurture it.
We are proud of it. We handle it with care. Would these same people, when the new (human) baby arrives, take a thick sharpie and make a big "x" on the forehead so that
no one will steal the baby? Doubtful. So, why do these same people, after birthing their book, deface it?
We, as reviewers, feel if the author has no respect for their own book, then why should we give it any consideration either. They want a free review, no, some actually
some demand a free review, yet, they send us a product that has been defaced.
Yes, it is known in the industry that some reviewers do sell the books. In our case, most of the reviewers keep the books in their personal library.
They take pride in the book they reviewed, especially if the book is autographed. As well, we donate books to local libraries, charities, and Books For Soldiers.
Defaced books cannot be used and are thrown away. What a shame. A soldier in Afghanistan would have appreciated some reading material after a long day in the desert,
or, an abused wife in the local women's shelter could have used the book as an escape from her battered reality. Instead, the defaced book gets recycled and either hits
the landfill or, hopefully, is used to make another book.
~~~~~~~~~~ My reply ~~~~~~~~~~
There are advance copies of my book circulating that I really didn't want resold because they are unedited. These advance copies are not defaced, but they
do have a clear message on the copyright page that the unedited book is not for resale. These 100 copies were printed for the reviewers so I could get books into
their hands with plenty of lead time (it takes months to get some reviews back) while I was improving the work.
Many of the advance copies of my book on stem cell research were sent to experts in the field to get their feedback, make sure I had quoted them correctly,
and that my information was factual. Not only did the publisher leave out 25 pages of my bibliography in the advance copy, the tone of the final book was softened
quite a bit. One passionate expert committed to the cause and volunteered to edit the entire book, so I’d say probably 15 percent of the text in the final version
is different from the advance copy.
That’s why it’s hard for me to refer to my advance copies as babies—especially since I produce (either through editing or ghosting for clients, or writing my own material)
about eight or more books per year.
I hope reviewers will honor my request that these copies not be resold, but I have no control over what happens to them once they leave my hands.
If donated to a local library, there's a good chance the books would never see any shelf time because of the scrutiny and evaluation process donated books go through.
An advance copy would probably be trashed or re-donated.
I don't have a problem with other titles of my books being donated to charity. It's better for a person having suicidal tendencies to read an unedited copy
of MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE, True Stories About Death, Dying, and Afterlife than to not be helped by the information it contains. My first book, EMAIL EPISODES,
A Hilariously Honest Look at Life was written before I had experience as an editor, but the book is so freaking funny it still cracks me up to this day even though it is
full of typos. Regardless, I would prefer the advance copies of RIGHT TO RECOVER, Winning the Political and Religious Wars over Stem Cell Research in America be trashed.
Books are not babies; they are stacks of paper bound together with glue for ease of reading and transportation. To me, they are the output of doing business. Even so,
they are an emblem of the hard work, time, energy, and love that created them.
Am I being too hard-nosed about this? What are your thoughts? Chime in at
Listening to Writers in the Sky Podcast on a computer is
easy. Just click this link:
and go to my blog. On the right sidebar there is a list of
archived shows. Click on the interview you would like to
hear and it will open a post that has a link to open the
audio file. For information about being a guest on Writers
in the Sky Podcast, see
Certified life coach, feng shui consultant, energy
healer, and author Tisha Morris discusses with
WITS' new author's assistant,
Vonnie Faroqui, 27 Things to Feng Shui Your Home.
Tisha practiced law for ten years and holds a fine arts degree in
interior design. Her transformational journey from attorney to healer has given her invaluable experience to help others make desired changes.
Blending traditional feng shui techniques and interior design aesthetics with healing energy,
she is able to help transform not only the space, but all those who occupy and encounter
it. Nashville-based, Tisha is trained in Reconnective Healing and is a Red Ribbon Member of the International Feng Shui
27 Things to Feng Shui Your Home
Patrick Ryan is an executive coach, leadership trainer, author, entrepreneur, and
founder of Awakened Wisdom Experiences™ Inc. Patrick brings 25
years’ experience as CEO, owner, and general manager of several successful businesses.
As a former Buddhist monk in Burma he practiced awakened living
and studied indigenous wisdoms with a variety of teachers.
He powerfully integrates his rich life experiences with
ancient teachings and modern applications to help deepen his
clients’ understandings of their own experiences in his
Awakened Wisdom, A Guide to Reclaiming Your Brilliance.
the Right Time to Launch A Business/New Writing Venture
by Dr. Maxine Thompson
“The principle mark of genius is not perfection but originality, the opening of new frontiers.” – Arthur Koestler
A couple of years ago, someone called me and asked if I thought we had launched my radio show too soon, because I stepped back and slowed up for a moment (the year I had three grandbabies born within eight months.) No, I told her all major companies roll their products out, (take action), then go back and do corrections.
How many glitches did Microsoft have in all its products when they rolled out Windows 98, XP, then even Vista? To get the lead on your competition, you have to leap and rest assured, that the net will appear.
You can’t wait for perfection. Don’t wait for the perfect time to start a business or take an action step towards an idea. Just like there is never a perfect time to have a baby, given our present economy, there is never a perfect time to make a change that could transform your life.
In the case of the Internet radio shows I’ve done, I think they have helped up the standards of the publishing industry for both self-published and African American writers.
Many things I’ve tried to do failed, but it didn’t mean it was over. For instance, I’ve tried to sell e-books back in 2000, when they were fairly new. But now I’m going to step out there and try again. This time we have Kindle, and other devices to assist with the sales.
As a literary agent, it took two years for me to get my first book deal, but once they started, I obtained eight book deals for four authors within a two-week period.
So now I know there’s a thing as try, and if it doesn’t succeed, try again, until you get it right. They say Edison had numerous tries before he developed the light bulb.
In the end, when you take a chance, you become stronger, whether you succeed or fail. It is in the process that you become a thought leader, one who encourages others to take chances.
Become a thought leader! Push your given industry to the next level. Affirm: “I am willing to take risks and do what I need to do NOW.”
What’s your next step?
Dr. Maxine Thompson
Add your announcement or brag about your
writing accomplishment. Tell us about your book or business.
Share information and ideas or send articles or advertorial
for the next issue by contacting us on our Web site
www.writersinthesky.com/contact.php . Here are some
announcements from our readers this month:
Get a FREE 30-day trial
of Allison Maslan’s life coaching software for personal development and goal setting
Want to learn how to get your book on the shelves at libraries? See
The Savvy Book
Marketer's Guide to Selling Your Book to Libraries.
What does the afterlife hold?
Find out on Lynn Serafinn’s Garden of the Soul Radio Show May 5 when author, transformation coach and book promotion coach Lynn Serafinn hosts the author of the book,
More Than Meets the Eye: True Stories About Death, Dying, and Afterlife, Yvonne Perry.
After having two near-death experiences, Yvonne Perry, found that her ability to see, hear, and sense the spirit world became more sensitive. Battling unseen forces and trying to understand why the deceased were coming to her, she took up a personal mission to research and explore this psychic gift that she and her grandmother (who also had a near-death experience) share.
On May 5, 2010, Lynn and Yvonne will discuss why some people are reluctant to talk about death, dying, afterlife, spirit communication, near-death experience, and other end-of-life issues, as well as the common phenomenon of being visited by the spirit of a deceased loved one, and how we are still connected even after we leave the body behind.
Listeners can tune in LIVE or "on demand" any time after broadcast at http://www.blogtalkradio.com Listener questions: call 646-727-3449 during broadcast (US number). An online chat room is available during the show for people to ask questions/make comments.
How Soccer Relates to Business
Virtual Book Tour May 2010
Join Us! Linda will be traveling the hemisphere: India * England * United Kingdom * Canada * New Zealand * USA
Find out more . . .
Enter the Writing Show Slush Pile Workshop
The Writing Show announces a new podcast series designed to help you
practice capturing readers’ attention: “The Writing Show Slush Pile
Workshop.” Inspired by literary agent Kristin Nelson’s two-page pitch
sessions, Writing Show host Paula B. and freelance editor Ann Paden will
play agent and comment on your anonymous submissions on the show.
We’re sure you know by now how important it is to hook a prospective
agent or publisher in your first couple of pages. But if you send your
work out before it’s ready, you could squander an important opportunity.
Don’t risk it. Try your material out on us first—for free!
Full details at
The Dream Quest One
Poetry & Writing Contest is open to anyone who loves
expressing innermost thoughts and feelings into the
beautiful art of poetry or to write a short story that is
worth telling everyone! And to all who have the ability to
dream. Write a poem or short story for a chance to win cash
prizes. All works must be original.
Frankie, the disabled dachshund known as the
walk 'n roll dog, is featured in a new book which was released March 2010 by Penguin/Tarcher Publishing.
Every Dog Has a Gift, by Rachel McPherson are true stories of dogs who bring hope and healing into our lives. A portion of the proceeds benefits to
Good Dog Foundation which educates others on the many benefits of animal-assisted therapy.
Design your magnetic life and business vision as a writer in one hour or
less! Email Joyce Shafer, You Are More! Empowerment Coach, at
firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the
Helping business owners feel the Cappuccino Breeze
Book a Phone Consultation: http://tinyurl.com/6em88p
Smash Cake Magazine Call for Submissions:
Smash Cake Magazine, a print literary magazine based out of Nashville, is now soliciting submissions for our Fall 2010 issue.
We are open to all genres and forms, and seek writing and art which emotionally and unexpectedly moves the reader. While we are picky and accept only a select
few of the overall submissions we receive, we are equally happy to hear from published writers and new authors alike. Your writing stands on its own merits when
we evaluate your piece, regardless of your previous publication credits. We don’t care who you know; just make us feel something amazing.
Smash Cake offers a token payment and features poetry, fiction (from flash length to novellas), creative non-fiction, photographs, and artwork.
See our submission guidelines at
http://www.smashcakemagazine.com for complete details. Pre-ordering information for the
forthcoming issue is also available at our website under the “purchase” tab.
Need help with using Twitter? Check out Dana Lynn Smith's
Twitter Guide for Authors.
WITS now offers
virtual blog tours for authors needing online exposure for their books.
Your announcement could be here. Check out the
and send us your blurb.
The Savvy Book Marketer Column
8 Ways to Use Blogging as an Interactive Marketing Tool by Dana Lynn Smith
Here are some ideas for using blogging in social and interactive ways:
1. Encourage your readers to share your content with others.
Make it easy for readers to share your content by adding "share" buttons from Share This or
Then ask readers to share by including text at the end of your best posts such as: "Do you know someone who might benefit from these tips?
Just click the Share This button below to send a link by email or recommend this post on your favorite social site."
2. Actively solicit comments.
Get readers engaged by including a sentence at the end of some posts inviting comments. You can even write a post designed to elicit comments.
Thank each commenter and make a further comment based on what they said.
3. Make comments on other blogs.
Making insightful comments on related blogs is a terrific way to boost your visibility and create links and traffic to your site.
Subscribe to the top blogs related to your book's topic or audience and watch for posts that you can comment on. Comments should be helpful and relevant, not self-promotional.
4. Write guest posts for other blogs.
Contact other bloggers that cater to your audience and offer to write a guest article. Include a brief bio and a low-resolution photo.
Google Blog Search is a good place to
search for relevant blogs.
5. Create a feed for your blog.
RSS feeds allow your blog posts to be automatically delivered to your subscribers by email or through a feed reader. Receiving your blog posts regularly engages readers more.
To create a feed for your blog, go to
6. Do a virtual book tour.
Make guest appearances on blogs, e-zines, podcasts or other forums to promote your book. Provide unique content to each host on your tour. Content can include interviews,
how-to articles, book excerpts, videos, book reviews, or an article about how you developed the plot or characters for a novel.
7. Join a blog carnival.
Blog carnivals are a collection of links pointing to blog posts on a particular topic, or topics of interest to a particular group of people.
Learn more and search for relevant carnivals
8. Hold a contest or drawing on your blog.
Use the blog comment feature to hold contests. For example, post a question and award a prize to the first person who leaves a comment with the correct answer.
Or, write a blog post stating that everyone who leaves a comment on the post by a specific date (allow five to seven days) will be entered in a drawing to win a free copy
of your book. Promote the contest on your social networks.
The Savvy Book Marketer's Guide to Successful Social Marketing by book marketing coach Dana Lynn Smith. For free book marketing tips,
on Twitter. For book promotion tips, visit
The Savvy Book Marketer blog. Get a copy of the
Top Book Marketing Tips e-book when
you register for her
free book marketing newsletter. For more book marketing tips, follow Dana on
Twitter or visit
The Adventures of Silly Kitty, Princess Jasmine, and First Puppy
Full-color, children's picture book
Outskirts Press, March 2010
Reviewed by Yvonne Perry
I received this book as I was packing for a trip to South Carolina to visit my grandkids. I knew the older two, Keilie and Mac, would enjoy having a story read to them. They are both such good readers, I ended up listening to them read this book to me. There’s such a joy in sharing written words with children and Irene Brodsky seems to understand that as she provides a story on a topic that I’ve not previously seen in a children’s book—the first puppy of the White House, belonging to the Obama family.
The Adventures of Silly Kitty, Princess Jasmine and First Puppy is a two-part story in one book. In the first part, Princess Jasmine, who lived in an English
castle, was strolling in her garden when she heard and found Silly Kitty. After some negotiation, they became friends.
In part two, the two friends were sitting in the garden, when Princess Jasmine got a call on her cell phone from First Puppy.
He invited them to come to the White House for dinner and dancing under the stars. I loved the menu, which included such items as Milk Bones,
Friskies tidbits, strawberry shortcake, sardine tidbits, and pasta alfredo and garlic bread. Of course, they accepted, and soon were packing their
best clothes and jewels for the airplane trip to Washington.
This book carries a subtle message of world peace. Dog and cat, humans and animals, Black and White, American and English, we can all get along
and enjoy one another’s company.
The hand-drawn pictures were a delight to my grandchildren. In fact, eight-year-old Keilie said this was her favorite part of the book!
Rather than feeling intimidated by perfect and professional artwork, she was inspired to take out her pen and paper and draw her own picture of Princess Jasmine
and Silly Kitty.
We never know what will inspire the young ones in our lives. In reading this story and learning that I was going to write a
book review for it, Keilie wanted to help. In doing so, she gained a better understanding of how to summarize a story without giving away the details.
The Sid Series ~ A Collection of Holistic Stories for Children
Author: Yvonne Perry
Publisher: Write On!, 2009
Reviewer: Dr. Caron Goode, author of the award-winning
Raising Intuitive Children (2009) and Kids Who See Ghosts, Guide Them Through Their Fear (June
which won Best Parenting Book in US News Awards.
Author, Yvonne Perry, uses her experiences with her sensitive grandson Sid to write simple, easy-to-read stories with profound meaning for a child and parent who read together.
Perry made a parent’s job easy by addressing some hot issues that all parents face with their children at some point: seeing a ghost in the closet, why a best friend has a
different skin color, how to choose healthy foods, how to welcome a new brother, why Mother Nature thunders, why we recycle, and how to find and play with fairies.
I love the pages of different colors, and the bright illustrations are delightful eye candy. Perry’s authentic storytelling emphasizes the use of imagination,
reasoning, problem-solving, acceptance, hugs, and connection. One volume of Sid’s stories allows any child to return to the book to discover Sid’s next adventure
or to read a couple of pages before going to sleep. I highly recommend these wonderful stories!
Rewriting Life Scripts: Transformational Recovery for Families of Addicts
Liliane Desjardins, Nancy Oelklaus, Irene Watson
Life Scripts Press (2010)
Reviewed by Carol Hoyer, PhD, for Reader Views (03/10)
I can honestly say that in all the time I have been a psychologist working in the substance abuse field, I have never found a book that covered in one place all the topics families need to know about recovery. The authors have written this book in a format that is easy to understand and read. They cover so many topics about addiction, recovery, misconceptions, and family roles that one would end up highlighting the whole book.
There are seventeen chapters that cover topics such as the family process—psychological tendencies and unrealistic expectations that put everyone in the down spiral again. I am a firm believer, like the authors, that families do not understand the addiction process or the underlying problems that might start it. Nor do many families receive treatment for themselves. As the authors state, even if the addict gets help it is important for family members and friends to learn new ways of living their life. This book dispels the myth that I hear so many times from my college students that if the addict had willpower, they could stop.
There are several parts of the book that I really appreciated. One is Higher Power. Many of those going into treatment get upset with thinking they have to rely on God to help them in the process of becoming clean. In short, Higher Power is really what motivates a person to make changes. The information on co-dependency was very informative, as were the roles we take on in our families of origin that often follow us through our adult lives. Each role is broken down into what the addicted person is thinking and what they present to others in their outside appearance.
Chapter 7 discusses The Authentic Self. If we can’t be honest with ourselves, how are we going to be honest with the addict? This chapter will have readers questioning: What need is met for me by keeping the dysfunction going? The authors also discuss boundaries, which many of us have a hard time putting into place.
Throughout the book, the authors provide simple exercises one can do in the privacy of their own home, and then discuss the impact these answers make on the family or individual. It is important to note that one important part of this chapter is the Grief Inventory, for when we lose a family member to addiction, regardless of what it is, we do go through a grief process.
The remainder of chapters discusses surrender. We cannot change others, we can only change ourselves. I think this is one of the hardest things for individuals to realize. I can say from my own personal experience of living with a family of alcoholics. My family expected me to get my brothers to change and when I said “I can’t,” they would be angry with me. We have to learn that we can only change the things we have control over, we have to learn to let go and let the addicted person figure out situations on their own. It may cause many tears, anger, and resentment; however, that individual needs to learn to be responsible for their choices.
There are so many things in this book that will help families become better informed and lead them to resources that will help them learn to live a peaceful life. We will always worry about family members or even friends who are addicted to something. But, this book gives us step-by-step tips on how to take care of ourselves as well as the addict.
I wish, as a psychologist, I had this book years ago; not only would it have helped my clients, but my family as well. This is a book that I will recommend that my college students to have in their resource library, as well as make a recommendation for this to be a required book for my Substance Abuse classes. Readers will appreciate the honesty and information provided in an all-in-one book, Rewriting Life Scripts: Transformational Recovery for Families of Addicts.
Author: Lynda Fitzgerald
Publisher:Crystal Dreams Publishing
Reviewed by Olivera Baumgartner-Jackson for Reader Views (03/10)
Lynda Fitzgerald’s Live Ringer is one of those books that cannot be put down once you’ve started on it. I picked the book up in late afternoon after a long day at work, planning to read for an hour to relax. At midnight I was still up, turning the last pages of the book and holding my breath. I wanted to find out who was the villain. I also did not want it to end quite yet. But end it did, with one last, very final twist. Sleep did not come for many more hours that night. Part of my mind was churning around all of the twists and turns of this delightful read; part of it was revisiting Florida, so fascinatingly described by Ms. Fitzgerald. Even today, several days after turning that last page, I would be hard pressed to decide what I liked best – the plot, the characters, the vivid descriptions of Florida, the twisted and intertwined relationships between the characters or something else…
Allie, newly divorced and still very much unsure of herself, returns to Florida, where she used to spend some of the best times of her early life with her now deceased aunt. Having inherited her aunt’s home (and – as she will soon discover– quite a few other “things”), she decides to settle down there. On the first morning after her return she stumbles upon a body of a woman on a beach not far from her home. Soon she is entangled into a very complex web of deceit, old friendships, fear, new love and much more. Fearing for her own life, she decides to fight back and discover the truth. Will that truth set her free? Or will it destroy more lives?
There is nothing boring and predictable about this book. It has enough twists and turns to keep you holding your breath for hours. The characters are believable, complex and immensely human. The situations they face, the decisions they have to make, the people they love and hate will probably make it quite easy for you to identify with at least a couple of them. Then there are the paragraphs – and pages – devoted to Florida. Ms. Fitzgerald writes about the pre-condo, non-touristy Florida, the Florida that is fast disappearing and is already missed by many. Her Florida has everyday people who actually walk their dogs, garden and talk to their neighbors; people who live in houses and not in the concrete behemoths devouring so much of Florida nowadays. Slightly nostalgic and so charming, those were some of my favorite pages in the book.
I found Lynda Fitzgerald’s “Live Ringer” an altogether great read, which I would wholeheartedly recommend to anybody who enjoys a good book. A delightful mix of romance, thriller and mystery will keep most readers riveted for hours. So get a cold drink that will make you think of Florida and enjoy your journey.
27 Things to Feng Shui Your Home
Author: Tisha Morris
Turner Publishing Company
Purchase on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com
Reviewed by Vonnie Faroqui for WITS
In her book, 27 Things to Feng Shui Your Home, author Tisha Morris seeks to share with the reader a modern and practical approach to using the ancient tradition of feng shui. From introduction to final page the author approaches her topic without the affectation or rhetoric commonly found in books on feng shui. She doesn’t oversell the concepts but instead walks you through 27 Things with the assumption that having picked the book up you inherently know the principles behind feng shui are sound.
The author brings her education as an interior designer and her experience as a certified life coach into play and is able to clearly relate the art of feng shui to the reader. She offers solid advice on clearing clutter and with each subsequent chapter clear, practical advice on how to implement the feng shui principles to make improvements, to change the flow of energy and ultimately manifest desires. Tisha echoes centuries of mothers by telling us to clean out the closet and keep doorways clear but, more importantly, she explains why these actions are necessary in relation to how energy flows in our homes, lives and in order for energy shifts and healing to occur. This is a strong practical guide book. The author has a pleasant writing style, presents the material in an easy manner and speaks to our core issues in a non threatening way. 27 Things to Feng Shui Your Home includes a chapter about creating a vision board, information on the Bagua map, easy to follow advice on using feng shui “cures,” and closes with a plan to implement the 27
For those readers unfamiliar with feng shui practices the author explains just enough about the concepts to allow a lay practitioner to receive solid reward for their time investment when applying the techniques, without planting confusion about the ins and outs of feng shui itself. For readers who have already been exposed to the art and mystery of feng shui, the author assists by leaving out confusing or contradictory information and the superstitions which often impede implementation of an action plan and the needed changes. She writes with confidence that following the feng shui principles and applying these techniques will have a powerful healing impact and her confidence is transferred to the reader.
After reviewing this book I am confident that I will be able to bring about some significant changes in my own life by following the 27 things that Tisha Morris recommends. I am also convinced that I could do so without spending a dime, simply using my current possessions in new ways or by letting go of things I no longer need. I recommend 27 Things to Feng Shui Your Home to anyone who wants to employ feng shui without becoming mired in research to do so. Tisha has done the homework for us and lays out the most important pieces in an easy to understand and follow format. This is one feng shui book you will pull off the shelf time and again.
For Book Marketing Research, Authors Use TitleZ
by Scott Lorenz
Effective book marketing begins long before the book is actually written and the more diligence paid to pre-publishing efforts the better the author’s chance of success. Before hiring a book publicist to garner book publicity for you, get a cup of coffee and get ready for a little online research on book marketing.
A key strategy in any marketing program is to know your competition and successful authors will research competitors before investing time in writing, editing, re-writing, and publishing. How many others have written on the same topic? How have those topics sold? What similar books have done the best? And what made these books successful?
This may sound like a daunting task but it is now as easy as sipping iced tea on a hot, humid day, thanks to a new website called TitleZ
(www.titlez.com). TitleZ allows users to instantly retrieve historic and current Amazon rankings on competitors’ books and create reports with 7-, 30-,90-day and lifetime averages. More importantly, you can use this tool to research your next book or create a marketing plan using the information furnished.
By visiting TitleZ you can compile a list of related books, comparing and contrasting sales figures and rankings. You will want to hurry and check it out now while it’s free in its beta testing stage. After the beta testing period expires the service will be available by paying a monthly subscription fee.
As a book marketing specialist, I have found TitleZ to be very useful in offering book marketing advice to my clients. Authors will find this tool helpful in coming up with book publicity and book publishing strategies.
Visit www.titlez.com to learn how a specific book or a group of books has performed over time relative to other books on the market. All you have to do is enter a book title, a subject, author or publisher and TitleZ within seconds comes up with a comprehensive list of books from Amazon.com plus historical sales ranking data. This information allows authors to see how topics and specific books perform over time and to appreciate what’s hot and what’s not.
Among the advantages TitleZ cites when using its tool are:
Identify trends with book-buying consumers beyond the top ten lists to see within a given topic which books are gaining in interest and which are declining.
Quickly and easily uncover best-selling and up-and-coming authors on a specific topic.
Review renderings of book covers, along with sales ranking data, to see what design features are working in the current marketplace.
By examining prices of competitors’ books you can make a better informed decision on what to charge for your book.
Find out how effective promotional appearances, tours, book signings, and marketing activities are in driving sales.
If you aren’t totally convinced yet that TitleZ is worth a cup of coffee’s time to try out, than just visit the site, point and click two or three times, enter just one subject, and examine the data returned. You’ll then become convinced. For more information about book marketing visit: http://www.book-marketing-expert.com
Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with individuals and entrepreneurs to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz has handled public relations and marketing for numerous authors, doctors, lawyers, inventors and entrepreneurs. As a book marketing expert Lorenz is called upon by top execs and bestselling authors to promote their books. Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at
www.westwindcos.com/book or contact Lorenz at
email@example.com or by phone at 734-667-2090.
In Memory of Johnny Maestro
(Lead singer of The Crests and The Brooklyn Bridge)
He rose from the streets of The Bronx, New York
to find fortune and fame.
His songs were filled with love and joy
Everyone knew his name.
He gave his life to music
since he was a young boy.
Such beautiful poetic lyrics
for the world to enjoy.
His soul has gone to heaven
to sing for The Lord up above.
A medley of his favorite songs
for the angels to love.
Speak often of Johnny
And his spirit will live in your heart
His music will never die
We will never be apart.
May the Lord bless Johnny's family
May stardust pave their way.
Until that special moment
When they meet again in heaven
Irene Brodsky, author of Poetry Unplugged (Outskirts Press)
This Old House
This old house could tell
A hundred million stories.
Every corner holds a secret,
There’s a book in every stone.
There are spirits who
Reside in every hallway
Telling tales that reach
Into the great unknown.
But there’s one story
That is still to be told.
It’s a story of you and me,
And it’s yet to unfold.
I’ve been trying to tell the world
How wonderful it can all be.
Ours is the greatest love
This old house will ever see.
All these memories
That we keep adding onto,
All the days of our love and laughter,
All the nights held in your arms.
How I long for this
To go on for forever
Here in this old house
Where we’re both safe and warm.
And we’ll keep singing
Through the joy and the pain.
We’ll fill every empty room
Though the seasons may change.
Our love will still be strong
And continue to grow.
Ours is the greatest love
This old house will ever know.
More lyrics from Rhythmic Notions by Dennis S Martin
A Breath of Life
When my life first began
I was all things good and true.
God gave me strong limbs,
and a will of my own.
He has a purpose for my life.
I can see beauty when he has control,
but turmoil when I have gone my own way.
Each time my soul has cries out,
I feel his presence and love.
Now I can give back a breath of beauty.
A Writer’s Prayer
We believe that you called us to write; to rip open the curtain of our hearts to allow the world to grasp your love. This is a scary place to be. We feel vulnerable, unqualified and afraid. The obstacles are many, and the experts say that success is a long shot. But, you are the God of long shots, and specialize in impossibilities. We truly believe this.
We ask that you strengthen us, enable us, and anoint us. Open the path through the sea of doubt that stretches before us. The road is long, but we trust that you remain in control and are leading us through it. That is enough for us.
We envision a Promised Land of sorts; of a finished product that glorifies you and touches a life.
So, please show us how to finish this journey. And continue to give us your words to touch your world.
In Jesus Name,
Janet Morris Grimes
ACW Mentoring Retreat, Nashville, TN
April 10, 2010
Miss Sophie Catches Bugs
catches bugs, raptor style,
on a murky May
the porch, body erect;
her tiny jaw continuously
snaps, easily catching
Apples, he said holding the paring knife,
Slice and mash them
The juice will hold faster
Although I'm holding the buttery spoon
Nothing comes faster than the sugary juice falling off its edges
Like an icicle in the rain.
Unfortunately, this batter turned out too sour
Better to go through the harvest again
Without dulling the knife
I become mismatched between the Granny Smiths
And the right words to convey my thoughts
Red peels - Too delicate
Too wary for the knife's blade
I turn to other thoughts:
The turning of the moistened leaves that bark up another shadow ~
It crisps through time.
Dorit Sasson is a freelance writer, educator and founder and director of the New Teacher Resource Center. Subscribe to receive your free bimonthly e-zine and e-book, Taking Charge in the Classroom when you visit the New Teacher Resource Center at
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