Friday, June 26, 2009

Write from the Heart

No one engages the art and craft of writing unless they have a passion and commitment to either entertain or inform. Dedicated writers learn the creative and technical aspects, work with an editor, and involve themselves in every action that gets them published and read.

Let’s say you’ve done all of the above. The other part of this is promotion. This can get tricky for many people. Whether you write your own promotional materials or work with someone who’s an expert, what’s key to long-term success is to build a relationship with readers. The best way to build a relationship is to write from the heart.

A first step is to identify who your ideal readers are. New writers wish their audience included everyone, but it doesn’t happen that way. If you know your niche, you have a starting place you can expand over time.

People want to know why they should engage with you. When you write from the heart, you shift from telling to being. People get to know and interact with the real you, not a commercial version. When you’re clear about who you are and what you offer (what’s unique about you), and if you understand what your people look for and how you provide it, finding the right words to reach them is far easier. Write from the heart and you shift from selling to serving. This creates connection, and this connection creates relationship.

Here are some key questions to ask when you’re creating or approving promotional materials:

What are your ideal readers interested in?

How can you serve, benefit, co-create, or co-partner with them?

What do you feel when you think of them?

How do you want them to feel when they think of you?

Do you appreciate and value them? Do they feel this way about you?

Writing, just as creating true connection with others, is an outer-level experience, but both start at the inner level. You can ask yourself right questions to get clear about every aspect of being a writer and promoter. You can get clear on how, who, and what your ideals are then never settle for less from yourself and others based on this understanding.

When you approach your ideal readers from the heart of who you are, they’ll respond. Trust gets established. A relationship starts and grows, right from the heart.

Make Shift Happen! Joyce Shafer, LEC ( is an author and creator of the Reinvent Yourself: Refuse to Settle for Less in Life and Business coaching program: Want the program materials, but not the coaching? Reinvent Yourself eCourse available at (discounted at her Web Store).

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Poetry Corner June 2009

Sexy, Sassy, Saucy

By Dennis

You keep making passes, sweeter than molasses,
Winking, blinking back at me.
Every little motion working like a potion
Blocking out reality.
Playing with my mind, leaving reason far behind,
Lift me ten feet off the ground.
Because you’re sexy, sassy, saucy
And you make my world go ‘round.

You keep turning heads in that sexy little dress
From the minute you walk through the door.
But I don’t dare to touch, I’m afraid you’re way too much,
You just make me want to cry for more.
I’m trying not to grin when I take it on the chin
And you ask me if I’m man enough.
You’re so sexy, sassy, saucy
And I just want to feel your touch.

You weaken my resistance
Until I don’t know where it went.
I’m so gone on you I swear
I would vote for you for president.

There is no mistake how you make my whole world shake
With that body that you carry around.
Just one look was all it took
And I swallowed the whole hook
Like a fish flopping out on the ground.
It don’t matter what I do, I’m not getting over you.
You’re the best thing to come into my world.
You’re so sexy, sassy, saucy
And I want you to be my girl.

To Touch Your Heart

By Dennis S Martin

There is no easy way
To get it done,
To say convincingly
You’re my only one.
No one to whisper in my ear,
Tell me where to start
To find those simple words
To touch your heart.

I’ve tried a million times
To let you know
Just how my love for you
Continues to grow.
But I can’t find the words
That will truly impart,
Words that spring from my soul
To touch your heart.

Maybe it’s not just the words that I speak
That send the real message your way.
Actions speak louder they say in the end,
And I try to show you every day.

I’ll keep on looking,
Searching my soul,
Maybe buy a dictionary,
Make it my goal
To find the right phrases
Both tender and smart,
The right words
To touch your heart.

Still Life: Empty, Needing Fish

For NG in Boca Raton; i.m. Robert Browning

Upstairs in the shower stall, Ryan rinsed a conch.
I half expected him, Jack or Ralph-like, to blow on it.
We had no colander on the kitchen hooks. It’s not first lover stuff.
Shower stalls are. So too are large aquaria, worth the dough for show.

We stood there, glass tank at our feet, mutely debating,
smeary glass door wide with coral & conch in hair-washing spray.

The shower head fizzed into sand-weighted water.
From a foot away, I watched, wondering. A foot from the fizz.
Could now we say we had showered together; would that be no lie?
Almost accurate was it, nearly truthful that we’d reached what?

That turning point in our relationship we had anticipated,
the turning point where showering together is routine, even
if both of us stay fully clothed. “Sure we did it,” we can say
to ourselves and each other, at least. And nobody saw.

In Sex & the City our eyes would have met. Close-up. Chemistry.
Same thought crackling electrically, coursing me to Ryan, he to me.
Tank gone. Removed. Totally out of mind. Merely a McGuffin to get us to where
clothes fell away beneath urgent hands, effortlessly, no fumbling this time.

A magic wand translates us into McQueen and Dunaway after chess.
Shower stall extends enough to contain us comfortably. Miracle in mind.

Water as hot as we like? An unlimited supply. No stumbling, slipping,
fumbling, or odd grunts. Call of the conch should be so smooth.

Shower stall to be our consummate ease spot for a moment. I think,
but with the conch properly rinsed, the last of the sand from it has gone.
Now it’s more than a week ago. More than a week has passed since that night.
There is the tank, babbling like a brook. It is empty, needing fish.

Writer: Duke Barrett (nom de plume).

A Conscious Painting

I Paint In Fragments
That Change
In Contrast

I Move From Canvas
To Canvas Expressing
The Desire
To Be A Conscious Painting
Of Inner Consciousness

The Ink Well
Of Acceptance Dries
In The Air
Of Separation

My Brush Dips
Itself in Blood
As Mental Enzymes
Turn Into Human Thoughts

Copied From Memory
Unique Mysteries Drizzle
My Outer Edges
With Magical Desires

Fresh Beliefs Become
A Colorful Vibration
Of Expression
And My Nucleus

A Family Of
That Shade Themselves
In Dreams

An Art Form
Of Timeless Motion
Captures My Multiplicity
In Free Style
And I Rest
On A Easel
Of Eternity

Problem Solving

Problems don’t just go away
or change on a specific date.
Unless we deal with them
they will only escalate.

Exercising the muscles strengthens us to make us strong.
Problems help us to grow, but our entire focus
should not be on what went wrong.
When we don’t learn from our problems
and correct our mistakes.
It’s like a racecar driver,
racing over and over not expecting to win a race.
Some problems are beyond our control and we
don’t know exactly know what to do.
Let us seek answers from the one who created you.
Let us focus on the solution or the next thing we must do.
You will get the answer and the peace will arise on the
inside of you.

Tanya Tucker Blowe is the author of the Inspirational Writings from the Living Water. This inspirational poetry book captures the hearts of people and lifts the hearts and spirits of those who require spiritual fulfillment. Tanya’s heartfelt writings give words of wisdom, instruction, and answers that are valuable tools for life.

Touching the World with Light

By Gail Livesay

Ocean waves laugh as they roll
slowly to shore,
in their depths they begin to boil,
crash forth in an angry tide.

Sometimes a star ignites
and streaks across the sky
in a fiery blaze as it falls.

A wind blowing softly
lends giant trees gracefulness
as they sway to and fro,

suddenly turns furious,
in its wrath
causing them to bend and twist
limbs breaking in pain.

Darkness covers the night sky.
Heaven’s door opens,
a thousand stars burst forth
to touch the world with light.

There Was Ecstasy

Breaking news on Channel 2; SWAT in a stand-off on 10th Avenue.
Guy inside is an ex-cop; too risky to enter, send the robot.

Karen called me. “Have you heard?” she said.
“Poor ole Bobby is probably dead.”

We had known he was walking on the dark side of the street.
We tried to pull him back; he was too far down to reach.

We had known he was sinking in the quick-sand of meth.
We tried to pull him back from that awful path to death.

There was crack. There was crank. There was ecstasy.

On the screen, we saw his house, SWAT van in the street.
In the driveway was a body, covered with a sheet.

The neighbors saw him shoot her; they called 9 -1-1.
He was holed up in the house; and he had a gun.

What could have made him do it? He was one of us.
Good cop, gone bad cop; but not as bad as this.

There were woods behind the house; had he slipped away?
SWAT sent the robot in; it saw him where he lay

There was crack. There was crank. There was ecstasy.

We had known he was sinking in the quick-sand of meth.
We tried to pull him back from that awful path to death.

We had known he was walking on the dark side of the street.
We tried to pull him back; he was too far down to reach.

At the end of the day, I said,
“I just keep remembering how smart he was, and how funny, and how fun.”
And Karen said,
“Yeah, and don’t forget he was a good cop, too. At least he didn’t make SWAT do it.

Jan Bossing © 2009, Joelton, Tennessee

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Friday, June 19, 2009

Printing and Publishing Books: Counting the Costs for Colored Ink

by Yvonne Perry

My visit to Published by Westview proved to be a great learning experience. While I’m accustomed to how the publishing industry operates, I did not know much about the printers that publishers work with.

Lightning Source, Inc. (LSI) is probably the most popular printer for books. Having LSI print a book means automatic distribution through Ingram. That doesn’t mean your books will be on the shelves at your local bookstore, but it does mean that the store can order your book for a client because it will be listed in the Ingram catalog. It also means your book will be available through This is something you may or may not want. Let me explain.

During the first printing of the Sid Series, I discovered that color pages are about three times more expensive to print than black and white pages. But, I couldn’t offer a children’s picture book and not have it in color. The heavier, glossy paper I used for the cover cost extra and so did having them stapled in the center. Had I selected a non-standard size for my book, that would have cost more too. There were about eighteen to twenty pages in each book, so my first print cost me about $6 per book. I could not justify selling such a small book for more than $7, so I ended up losing money on them by the time I paid tax and shipping. I kept the stock in my office closet. Because these books were self-published, I had to manually create mailing labels and stuff envelopes whenever a customer placed an order. The books were only available on my Web site.

When I sold out of the first print run, I did not reorder because I had written another nine books for the series by then and I couldn’t afford individual printing of all twelve books. So, I offered the stories as e-books and put the project on hold until I could get all of the stories illustrated. These are still available on my Web site and I will be adding the new stories once they are illustrated.

I’ve decided to put all twelve stories into one print book and republish them. I don’t want to self-publish because I don’t want to handle printed distribution this time. I thought I would go with a publish-on-demand company so the books could be listed in Ingram’s catalog.

That’s when I started my research with Published by Westview. Mary Catherine walked me through my options. I could print with LSI for about the same price as I could print with another company. However, LSI does not offer glossy pages; the other printers do. LSI offers Ingram distribution; the other printers do not. The drawback is that my book will be listed on You may not think of that as a drawback, but if you consider that Amazon purchases your book for 55 percent off your list price (bookstores only charge 45 percent), you will make no money in the transaction. Let’s say your book retails for $15 and Amazon buys it from you for $6.75. It cost you $9 (plus tax and shipping) per book to print in paperback (hard cover would be $10 per book), so you just lost 75 cents on that paperback book sale. If you price the book at $20, you would break even on a softcover. If you go much higher on the retail price of your book, you lose your market because no one wants to pay much more than $20 for a 48-page book. I can’t keep Amazon from selling my book. They can even offer it in e-book format for their Kindle Reader. If I don’t go with LSI, I get to pack and ship my own books again. What’s an author to do?

First of all, more research is needed. Therefore, I’m going to a used and new book store to compare paper, finished size, and average price for this genre, and to see how certain bindings hold up after use. Afterward, I should have a better idea of which route to go and whether or not the market will pay enough per book to cover my expenses and perhaps allow me to make a profit. I will share with you what I learn.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Book with a View Part 2 June 2009

President Barack Obama’s Dreams From His Father
Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance
Author: Barack Obama
Publisher: Three Rivers Press, 2004
ISBN: 9781400082773
Reviewed by Maryanne Raphael (05/2009)
Link at

In Dreams From My Father, Obama wrote of his efforts to understand his family, the leaps through time and the collision of cultures hoping to shine light on the question of identity and race in the America experience.

He described the “underlying struggle between worlds of plenty and worlds of want, between modern and ancient cultures.” He admired those “who embrace our teeming, colliding irksome diversity while insisting on values that bind us together”. And he feared “those who seek, under whatever flag or slogan or sacred text, to justify cruelty towards those not like us.”

The book shows how powerlessness twists children’s lives in Jakarta or Nairobi in much the same way it does on Chicago’s south side and how quickly despair slips into violence. It discusses how the powerful respond with a dull complacency until violence threatens them and they then use force, (longer prison sentences and more sophisticated hardware) inadequate to the task.

He struggles constantly to understand this problem and his place in it. He is now professionally engaged in a broader public debate that will shape our lives and the lives of our children for many years to come.

If he had known his mother was dying so young, he would have written a different book, less a meditation of the absent parent and more a celebration of the one who was the single constant in his life. He shares some of the stories his mother and her parents told him when he was a child. ”

Obama feels we have all seen too much to take his parents’ brief union, a black man and a white woman an African and an American at face value. He says when black or white people who don’t know him well, discover his background they no longer know who he is.

This is the record of a personal interior journey, a boy’s search for his father and a workable meaning for his life as a black American.

Obama says, “I can embrace my black brothers and sisters whether in this country or in Africa and affirm a common destiny without pretending to speak for all our various struggles.”

Much of this book is based on journals of oral histories of his family. Obama says he tried to write an honest account of a particular province of his life.’

Without the love and support of his family, his mother, his grandparents and his siblings, stretched across oceans and continents he could never have finished it.

He was born in Hawaii, lived several years in Indonesia then lived in New York City where he went to Columbia University. In1983, he was a Chicago community organizer and a civil rights lawyer.

His Aunt Jane, whom he had never met, called him from Kenya to say his father was killed in an auto accident. His parents had divorced when he was two years old and he had only seen his father for one month when he came to visit Obama and his mother in Hawaii.

When he went to Kenya his half sister Auma and his Auntie Zeitumi met him.

They took him to meet Aunt Jane and other African family members. Family seemed to be everywhere in Kenya and Obama found himself meditating on just what is a family He sat on his father’s grave and spoke with him through Africa ’s red soil.

When he returned to America he met Michelle, who had been raised in Chicago. After their engagement he took her to Kenya to meet his family there they returned to the United States and married.

This is an absorbing and moving tale of a man who takes a journey to his father ‘s home, where he lived much of his life and died. Obama re-evaluates his relationship with the myth of his father and the meaning of his own life. It is a quiet but intense examination of a man’s past and his son’s attempt to understand it.

Examining his family’s life and thinking about his own, Obama finds a certain relief reliving times and behavior that had slipped into the undifferentiated past and finally arrives at some kind of understanding.

The writing style is exciting, a well written blend of memoir and history. The rich narrative and interesting characters keep the reader turning pages. Obama’s sensual descriptions made the reader feel he is visiting south side of Chicago, Harlem, Indonesia or Kenya. You see the people, hear their voices, taste and smell the food, feel the breeze and smell the ocean.

This is a book I would have enjoyed even if had not been written by a well-known, fascinating man beginning to put his mark on the world.

Lose the Diet: Transform Your Body by Connecting with Your Soul
Kathy Balland
Blissful Publications (2009)
ISBN 9780982183106
Reviewed by Carol Hoyer, PhD, for Reader Views (4/09)

Author Kathy Balland has written a very informative and educational book for those of us who continue to diet with and without success. She provides great insight on the mind-body connection, which most dieters don’t even consider.

A very important point in this book is that we as a society have lost connection to others, our inner feelings and ourselves. The author provides us with many scenarios that show we are not taking care of ourselves emotionally. We eat when we are stressed, depressed or just because we live in a fast-paced world and want instant gratification.

Many try to starve themselves to lose weight and others skip meals thinking this will help. Ms. Balland addresses several topics in her book to include: sleep or lack of, meditation, exercise and loving ourselves.

In the chapter titled No Pain, No Gain the author discusses becoming mindful- connect with what is going on with us and look at why we are eating. She recommends that individuals write down what they are feeling emotionally when having cravings.

Although the subject matter is not new, the author approaches weight and happiness in a new way. She does not lecture, but gives straightforward guidance and makes one look at making changes in their life.

Her final chapter deals with a higher power- for some that might be God, family or friends - whatever keeps you going. She gives suggestions on several poems or books to read when one is feeling the need to binge eat. Lose the Diet: Transform Your Body by Connecting with Your Soul by Kathy Balland is a very good, easy to read book with a lot of great insight.


Surviving A House Full of Whispers
Sharon Wallace
Modern History Press (2009)
ISBN 9781932690903
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (4/09)

The author, Sharon Wallace, was the victim of both physical and sexual abuse of her stepfather while her mother was in denial and contributed emotional abuse as well. No one would believe her story. Tired of being treated like an outcast by her family and friends, she goes to Social Services for assistance. Feeling totally frustrated because they also don’t believe her story, she presents herself as a very angry, volatile teenager. Inside, she is a child screaming for someone to rescue her and to believe her story.

To escape, Sharon takes on several jobs; most of them involve being a nanny. Not all of her experiences are positive; however, she is relieved to be out of her house. Not knowing how to recover from being abused, she takes on some negative behaviors such as cutting herself and eating disorders. Sharon also learns that she can defend herself. This makes her stronger, however, the intensity of anger that she feels when she is attacked, also scares her.

Down the road, Sharon finds a wonderful, patient man that loves her. He believes her story. His love and support help her on her path to healing and finding herself. When she becomes a mother, she is fearful for her children and initially finds herself being overprotective. Learning to trust her own judgment, she learns who she can trust to be around her and her family. Along the way, Sharon continues to try to salvage her relationships with her family. She realizes that her mother is a very sick woman. Her stepfather is still around, which is horrible for Sharon. This man, whom she refers to as “The Night Devil” delights in the fact that he got away with his abuse.

When Sharon’s husband develops a disabling health issue, the family is rocked by having to watch him decline and their financial situation becomes dire. Still Sharon is able to hold them together. When she experiences her own health crises she suffers greatly. Still Sharon stays strong.

I found Sharon’s story painful to read. It is horrible that both the family and the whole system would fail to protect an innocent child from abuse.. It was heart wrenching to feel the pain that she was experiencing. I was so happy when she found a wonderful man to love her. I truly feel that people experiencing abuse, survivors of abuse, abusers and people who work with these people, should read “Surviving a House Full of Whispers.” Sharon’s story needs to be read, so that people learn from it.

Upon realizing that history does not have to be repeated, Sharon says, “ …we don’t have to own the misery of our childhoods. We can refuse it and return it to its rightful owner, the abuser.” I am thankful that Sharon Wallace is willing to share her story in Surviving a House Full of Whispers.
Talk Radio Wants You: An Intimate Guide to 700 Shows and How to Get Invited
Francine Silverman
ISBN - 9 780786 440337
Publisher - McFarland & Co
Pub Date: April 2009
314 pages
Price: $75
Reviewer's Name: Victor Volkman of Authors Access (5/09)

Imagine being able to sit down with a coffee and discuss with hundreds of radio hosts what their shows are about and what kind of guests they’d like to book. You can do just that with Francine Silverman’s new book Talk Radio Wants You: An Intimate Guide to 700 Shows and How to Get Invited. I have paid $300 or more for talk radio show databases that had far less information than Francine presents in her highly-competitively priced book.

Broken down into top-level categories, you can browse for shows in your genre, including politics, health & fitness, food, sports, self-help, women’s issues, and even authors. I would expect most people can find a dozen hot prospects for making their pitch in under half-an-hour, that is if you can stop yourself from endlessly browsing the fascinating entries! Francine doesn’t stop with AM/FM, also included are satellite radio and podcasts, which can reach thousands of interested listeners you would never get from terrestrial radio.

Each entry includes critical info such as desired guests, host bio, and full contact info so you can tailor your pitch perfectly I can’t recommend this book strongly enough for any author who wants to get into this high-profile, low-cost method of marketing. Only a couple of downsides to mention: if you’re looking for gay & lesbian, military/veteran, or science-fiction oriented shows you will not find enough listings to make it worthwhile. Also, I feel like the “What is your guest from hell?” entries were a bit repetitive. Everyone knows that hosts want an articulate, on-time, and well-spoken guest. If I know Francine, she will amend these in future editions.

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Monday, June 15, 2009

Book with a View Part 1 June 2009

Act As If It Were Impossible to Fail, The Employee Handbook That Your Employer Hasn’t Given
Author: Joe Lavelle
ISBN: 9781439240724
Publisher: Booksurge, July 2009
Link to purchase:
Reviewer: Yvonne Perry (5/09)

Understanding Your Role in Career Success

I’ve always been driven to succeed and achieve. I don’t know if it comes from my upbringing or if I learned it at school, or it if is in-born, but I am task-driven and love marking things off my to-do list. Even when I was a stay-at-home mom, I organized my daily activities to optimize my day and make sure I accomplished everything I wanted to do while the kids were in school. However, I have not always lived with the attitude that I could “act as if it were impossible to fail.” That would surely have changed things!
In my younger years, I was afraid of failure and rejection. It kept me from being honest with myself and others because I did not want to be seen as a failure. I suppose that is why Joe Lavelle’s book, Act As If It Were Impossible to Fail, The Employee Handbook That Your Employer Hasn’t Given You, appeals so much to me.

In it, he says, “Yes, failure is a fact of life; however, you can learn to view failure as an important lesson rather than feeling disappointment and resignation.” Part of being successful is being able to recover from your mistakes and not allowing animosity, doubt, and negativity to creep in.

Joe gives pertinent examples using everyday comparisons such as how making mayonnaise is a lot like your boss’s job. You’ll have to read the book to understand what he means by that, but it makes a lot of sense.

Once I started my own business, I had to believe in myself and my abilities, or else I would have given up. Somehow, through trial and error, I kept going even when things didn’t turn out how I had hoped. Miraculously, I learned from the mistakes I made. Can that skill be taught? Yes, what I learned on the fly can be learned in Joe’s book. He teaches how to clearly define your role in your first 90 days on a job by setting clear and realistic goals. Beyond making a good first impression, a new employee should actively communicate his or her style and expectations. This could apply to anything in life—not just a career.

Have you ever heard of greenspace in an office environment? I hadn’t. When I read this in the table of contents, I thought Joe was either talking about getting some outdoor exercise in a space known as a greenway, or maybe he was referring to recycling and reusing office resources such as paper. According to Joe, greenspace consists of all the necessary tasks in the office that are not assigned to anyone specifically. He says that by taking on additional duties and responsibilities, you show leadership and determination that will improve your chances of advancing your career more quickly.

Another case Joe makes is for a better understanding of the role of human resources department and how mentoring programs and succession planning play an important role in long-term career success as well as the long-term success of a company. There’s an entire chapter on effective networking, and another chapter that defines how and why return on investment (ROI) is so important to a company and how to use it to your advantage as an employee. Communication, education, and play—yes, play!—are an important part of a successful corporate environment.

Each chapter ends with a summary that makes finding key facts easier. Each chapter also has “Act As If Success Steps” that give you examples of things you can do to apply what you read in the text. What I learned from Joe’s book is that our beliefs become our reality, and our expectations have a direct result on the outcome of any given situation.

Joe writes, “When you act as if failure were impossible, your actions make that belief a reality.” With that mantra and the lessons modeled in this book, the world—and especially corporate America—would be a much different and nicer place!

The Secret of the Sacred Scarab
Author: Fiona Ingram
ISBN: Paperback 978-0-595-45716-8
Cloth 978-0-595-71977-8
E-book 978-0-595-90017-6
Publisher: iUniverse, 2008
Pages: 258
Reviewed by: Barbara Milbourn for Writers in the Sky (5/09)

Author Fiona Ingram understands that young readers have no patience for long, drawn-out prologues. At the first sentence—a one-word exclamation—of The Secret of the Sacred Scarab, she jettisons readers off on an adventure to a far-away land with two young cousins.
Justin and Adam are leaving the comforts of home and the family dog for a one-week adventure in Egypt with ace writer/researcher Aunt Isabel and their loveable and zany Gran. In exchange for missing school, their assignment is to keep a daily record of things they’ve seen and learned along the way. It so happens that their aunt’s current project and the boys’ recent history lessons coincide and set the reader on firm footing before they even lift off.

Aunt Isabel has guaranteed their maximum travel experience and personal safety by booking them on a tour with a host of entertaining fellow sojourners and a tour-guide who is suspected of knowing far more than she shares with the group. Safety vanishes early in the hot, still air of a marketplace when the boys are encountered by a ragged peddler who bestows upon them four scarabs; one of which is particularly ancient and coveted.

The story flies forward from there as the boys put together fortuitous pieces of a puzzle in quest of a legendary tomb of an ancient Egyptian ruler and a missing archeologist. Ingram writes the landscape and the legend vividly and keeps the boys barely one step ahead of death and dismemberment at the hands of men in black, the fangs of a giant cobra, and all manner of danger that lurks in caves, shifting sands, and things hidden in deep, dark places.

The Secret of the Sacred Scarab is entertainment for readers up to around age fourteen and for those who wish they were fourteen again. It is at once adventure and history, art and architecture, humor and redemption, travel writing and social studies, and great fun. Fiona Ingram presents this as her first of seven in a series titled Chronicles of the Stone.
The Savvy Book Marketer’s Guide to Successful Social Marketing
By Dana Lynn Smith
Publisher: Texana Publishing, 2009
Contact Reviewer: (5/09)
Publisher's Site:

Understanding Frugal and Effective Social Marketing

Veteran Marketer and Author Benefits Promotion-minded Authors

Reviewed by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, award-winning author of This Is the Place and Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered, Tracing, a chapbook of poetry, and the author of the HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers.

I am an avid social marketer, even though I don't consider myself an expert. There is just so much to know and so much new coming down the Internet avenue each day.

Having said that, many books I've read are way too techy. They use terms I don't understand. And they tell me how to do things I'll never needs. So I thought I'd share a book I loved with WITS subscribers. The Savvy Book Marketer’s Guide to Successful Social Marketing by Dana Lynn Smith that can't be said in one sentence is basic and clear enough for writers just beginning to use social marketing as a marketing tool but complete enough that even veteran social marketers will find new applications and new marketing ideas within its pages.

As an example, I had just been disbarred (they say disabled but I think the term a bit strong!) from Facebook for simply answering too many invitations at a time. I'd save up my invitations for a day and answer anywhere from two to six at once. I like answering personally so I used the message link on the friends request page. Wrong! Their algorithms interpreted that as SPAM even though I used different messages for each one. So, once accepted back into the fold I was trying to avoid the same situation by painstakingly answering each friend request as it came to my e-mail box. I sure didn't want to go through that disbarred thing again and lose hundreds of friends!

Dana Lynn Smith to the rescue. She gave me a better way to send those thank you notes to people who had befriended me because it is well...more public. Networking is what Facebook is about after all! But this other method I learned is also a lot more friendly and faster.

This book is well organized and even includes calls to action at the end of each major section as an extra help. I would have wished for a real in-the-hand book because that's the way I am, but with something as explosive as social marketing, an e-book is perfect. Smith will find it easy to keep her book and its multitude of links fresh for you with new online developments. I'll be recommending it to those taking my marketing classes at UCLA for sure.

If you've been saying "I don't 'get' Twitter," this is the book for you.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s first novel, This Is the Place, has won eight awards. Her book of creative nonfiction Harkening, won three. A UCLA Writers' Program instructor, she is also the author of another book essential for writers, USA Book News' Best Professional Book of 2004, The Frugal Book Promoter: How To Do What Your Publisher Won't. The second in her HowToDoItFrugally series is The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success also a USA Book News pick and winner of Reader Views Literary Award and the New Generation Award for Marketing. Learn more at

Wai-nani: High Chiefess of Hawai’i-Her Epic Journey
Star PublishLLC, $17.95
Reviewed by Leslie Forbes Owen
Sherman Oaks*Studio City News, California

“Wai-nani: High Chiefess of Hawai’i” is, Studio City-based author, Linda Ballou’s layered vision of ancient Hawai’i in historical fiction.

Wai-nani’s character is based on the life of Ka’ahumanu, the favorite wife of King Kamehameha the Great, and the novel illustrates ancient Hawaiian culture, customs, and taboos through her eyes.

Combining Hawaiian vocabulary and vivid imagery, Ballou transports her readers to the islands, where the surf, sand and mountains come alive. (Even though Ballou employs a considerable Hawaiian vocabulary, the author thoughtfully includes a glossary of terms as well as historic citations, affirming her reverence for detail and accuracy.)

Mixing history, mythology and places familiar to Hawaiian travelers, the novel chronicles the development of Wai-nani from an athletic, tomboyish, teenage girl into a wahine (woman), her travels, and the male barriers she encountered and broke.

For those who have visited the Hawaiian Islands familiar places are picturesquely drawn. Ballou’s writing is intense and colorful. Like the waves of the Pacific, the intensity of her images come pounding at every turn, at times at the point of distraction.

If traveling to Hawai’i is not within reach this summer, “Wai-nani: High Chiefess of Hawai’i" affords an opportunity to visit a land where fragrant plumeria flowers bloom, dancing dolphins play offshore, and a lost echo of sacred culture once more comes alive.

Friday, June 12, 2009

What's in a Title?

By Barbara Milbourn

As editors, Yvonne and I occasionally prickle when a new writer refers to a book entitled this or that. Yvonne likes to ask exactly what the book is entitled to. In case you’re baffled, the correct word we’re looking for is titled—what is the book’s title?

But what’s in a title?

Especially when writing for the children/juvenile market, it’s attracting their attention, appealing to their interests, and creating anticipation—instantly, obviously, and plentifully.

And what succeeds in doing this best with most kids?

A timeless fascination with bugs and buried treasure, secrets and wishes, far-off lands, villains and heroes/sheroes the readers’ own age, cupcakes, peanut butter, and farts. Yes, farts. Farts are funny. They’re especially funny when you’re a kid and hilarious when you’re a boy.

I wouldn’t be writing this had I not just finished reading Fiona Ingram’s The Secret of the Sacred Scarab. Fiona is a first-time novelist who I will interview on podcast May 21st. Her book lived up to its title and was a well-written tale of adventure in a far-away land. Fiona wrote it and promoted it so well that it has been selected as a Finalist in the Children’s/Juvenile Fiction category for the 2009 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Congratulations Fiona and take heart new writers!

Out of curiosity, I read the titles of the other finalists in the writing competition and found plenty of far-off lands, wishes, whispers, cupcakes, and peanut butter. But it was the winning title that stopped me in my tracks—Sweet Farts.

The Ms. Prude in me was miffed, cried foul, but admitted Sweet Farts grabbed my attention and piqued my curiosity. What was being written out there for our kids? I went to Amazon and read several favorable reviews, and then imagined grandma and little Joey going to Borders for his birthday. “Wow, grandma, this one looks cool,” Joey cries. Straight-laced grandma snatches Sweet Farts from his hands, bristling and determined to prove it is drivel not worthy of her precious grandchild’s attention. Instead she finds a lot of sweet characters and a young boy her grandson’s age farting up a storm at school. He has a problem, there’s sensitivity and insensitivity, there’s humor, and there’s a lesson. Grandma’s won over and so will be, undoubtedly, a throng of young readers whose attention was grabbed by the title.

Don’t underestimate the importance of titling (not to be confused with entitling).
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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Calling for Newsletter Announcements

It's time for me to start putting together the next fantastic and information-filled e-zine for July 2009. That means I need you to send me your articles, contest announcements, and brags to be included in the next issue. We have more than enough book reviews, but if I have room for them, I'll include them.

Read our guidelines for submittal here. Remember, the better your piece is written, the better attention and credibility it receives--and the less editing I have to do.

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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Editor's Corner June 2009

Any day now, my daughter will give birth to her first child, a son to be named Liam Owen. I’m sure her audio engineer husband, Scott Kidd, will take plenty of photos and send me video updates as things progress during labor. My excitement is heightened even more by the fact that my son and his wife are due with their second son in July. By the way, Scott is the producer of Janet Riehl’s audio book Sightlines: A Family Love Story in Poetry and Music (See the video of how the audio book was created). Janet will be a guest on our podcast in July.

Speaking of the podcast, we have some very exciting guests this month. There will be four editors: LJ Sellers, Karen Reddick, and WITS’s own Barbara Milbourn and yours truly. We will share tips and insight into grammar, punctuation, writing dialog, word choices, and style guides. Then, we have Joe Lavelle sharing his business book, and Leo Abrami sharing his memoir as a young Jewish boy in France during World War II.

I’ve been a guest on two radio shows recently. Ella Curry, President /CEO of EDC Creations interviewed me on Black Authors Network Radio Show where I read from my humorous book Email Episodes. Jaxx interviewed me on her Blog Talk Radio Show RealTalk~RealWoman. Our topic was Revealing Barack Obama: The Truth About Stem Cell Research. For a list of shows with links to interviews I have done on a variety of topics, see

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Friday, June 5, 2009

The Writing Life: Longevity of Books

The Writing Life Book Review:

I’m holding a 1906 copy of How to Know the Wild Flowers, originally published in 1893 by Mrs. William Starr Dana. More about the author later.
What’s incredible, besides the fact that it is the first wildflower field guide published in the USA, is that the field information is as relevant to day as it was 116 yeas ago. I can’t name a current nonfiction book with that kind of longevity.

The subtitle: A Guide to the Names, Haunts and Habits of Our Common Wild Flowers is an accurate description of what you’ll find in the book. But I think the subtitle should be: When Field Guides Were Fun. Each section covers the plants with flowers of the same color, which makes it “field friendly.”
After a factual description of root, stem, leaf, flower, and seeds or fruit, the author launches into a bit of poetry, a folk remedy or some other phrase that brings me right into the woods with her. The line drawings of the majority of wild flowers are so detailed that I forget they’re not in color.
The 50 color plates almost leap off the page.
For comparison’s sake, I went to the library and checked out the 1963 version of How to Know the Wild Flowers. Just holding them, I notice that the 1906 book is bulkier and the paper and binding sturdier. There are no color plates in the 1963 edition. It makes me wonder what a book published in 1893 looks and feels like.

My brief count-up of the indexed plants shows that the 1906 book has about 750 plants listed, but the 1963 version lists over 1,000 plants. Since the author died in 1952, I wonder who added the 250 plants. A deeper look into the book reveals that plants were not simply added, some were deleted or their names were changed. Botanical names change frequently as knowledge is discovered. In the last 5-10 years, the application of DNA evidence has revealed that some plants formerly thought to be members of different families share DNA. Although I may be reading different names for the same plant, that still doesn’t change the physical appearance, habitat, or growth pattern of the plant in the field.
This author of many field guides was not allowed to publish under her own name in 1893, hence the author credit “Mrs. William Starr Dana.” She was widowed and then remarried and her name became Frances Theodora Parsons. A respected and accomplished botanist, her acquaintances included Theodore Roosevelt and Rudyard Kipling. In the 21st Century it’s easy to take our economic and social power for granted and forget what our grandmothers and great-grandmothers have fought for and gained since the 19th Century.

It’s also easy to forget the pleasures of holding a book in this age of Kindle, e-books, and Call me a Luddite, but a field guide is meant to be taken into the field, where I often cannot receive a WI-FI signal anyway.

JJ Murphy is a freelance nature writer, photographer, blogging hiker, forager, locavore, and tree-hugger with more than 50 years of eco-centric living experience. Visit if you need relevant content that captures your personal style and tone.

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Thursday, June 4, 2009

Network with Us June 2009

Heidi M. Thomas will be conducting a book tour through Montana June 1-15. Her novel, Cowgirl Dreams, is based on her grandmother who rode steers in MT rodeos during the 1920s.

“Cowgirl Dreams is a heart-warming read for all ages…” Jane Kirkpatrick, author A Tendering in the Storm, WILLA Literary Award winner.

Heidi is a writer, freelance editor, and writing teacher living in the Pacific Northwest. See

My debut novel Quantum Earth is now available at It's about a team of metaphysical scientists dedicated to finding out why the Earth is in crisis. The rate, size, and destructive power of hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions is out of control. All of these acts of nature have become more devastating to human life than ever before in history, but why? Is the Earth cleansing itself of humanity? Or could it be that human thought is the true cause? This is what the team is asking; the hardest question of all: Do we create our own reality?

Julie Achterhoff

The Dream Quest One Poetry & Writing Contest is open to anyone who loves arranging words into the beautiful art of poetry or writing a short story that is worth telling everyone! And to all who have the ability to dream... Write a poem 30 lines or fewer on any subject or a short story, 5 pages maximum on any theme for a chance to win up to $500.00 in cash prizes. All works must be original.

Cherie Burbach has released her latest book titled, 21 Simple Things You Can Do to Help Someone with Diabetes. Your diabetic friend or relative counts on you to be the person in their life that "gets it" when no one else does. This book will tell you what you can do to help. Things like what you should (and shouldn't) say, what you should learn to truly be supportive, and even how you can help in the fight for a cure. 21 Simple Things You Can Do to Help Someone with Diabetes will point you in the right direction so you can truly support your diabetic friend. For more info, visit Cherie's Web site:

The Service Journey
Author: Susan Hoekstra
Publisher: Aventine Press (2009)
ISBN: 1-59330-587-7

Do the secrets to delivering excellent service seem elusive and impossible? Have you done everything you can think of to improve your service delivery with mixed results? This no-nonsense, straightforward approach to delivering excellent service will give you the direction and confidence needed to get you and keep you on track. Peppered with humor and the chagrin that only real service experiences can provide, Susan shows how to align your organization's behavior with your vision, avoid missteps and develop a customized 12-step service strategy that differentiates your firm, business, or department's service delivery from your competition.


About the Author
Susan Hoekstra is an experienced senior manager and consultant who spent the past 25 years working with multi-sized, fast-paced, highly volatile companies in the manufacturing, distribution, membership services, franchise, and financial services industries. Over the years, she has developed a penchant for developing strategic service initiatives that drive growth and value to clients, employees and shareholders. Susan owns her own service consulting company.

The lovely month of May is abloom in more than one way for me. I have three releases coming to The Wild Rose Press. These novels will also be available in E-book and paperback from online booksellers. Local bookstores can order them in.

Daughter of the Wind --Historical/light paranormal romance with strong Native American elements . Autumn, 1784: A tragic secret from Karin McNeal's past haunts the young Scots-Irish woman who longs to know more of her mother’s death and the mysterious father no one will name. The elusive voices she hears in the wind hint at the dramatic changes soon to unfold in her life among the Scot’s settled in the mist-shrouded Alleghenies. Jack McCray, a wounded stranger who staggers through the door on the eve of her twentieth birthday and anniversary of her mother’s death, holds the key to unlocking the past. Will she let this handsome frontiersman lead her to the truth and into his arms, or seek the shelter of her fiercely possessive grandfather? Is it only her imagination or does something, or someone, wait beyond the brooding ridges—for her?

Enemy of the King ~May 8th

Fast-paced historical romance with light paranormal element. My version of The Patriot with flavors of Daphne DuMaurier's Rebecca. 1780, South Carolina: While Loyalist Meriwether Steele recovers from illness in the stately home of her beloved guardian, Jeremiah Jordan, she senses the haunting presence of his late wife. When she learns that Jeremiah is a Patriot spy and shoots Captain Vaughan, the British officer sent to arrest him, she is caught up on a wild ride into Carolina back country, pursued both by the impassioned captain and the vindictive ghost. Will she remain loyal to her king and Tory twin brother or risk a traitor’s death fighting for Jeremiah? If Captain Vaughan snatches her away, he won’t give her a choice.

Through the Fire ~May 22nd

Fast-paced historical romance with a The Last of the Mohicans flavor and a mystical weave . At the height of the French and Indian War, a young English widow ventures into the colonial frontier in search of a fresh start. She never expects to find it in the arms of the half-Shawnee, half-French warrior who makes her his prisoner in the raging battle to possess a continent––or to be aided by a mysterious white wolf and a holy man. For more on my work please visit

Beth Trissel

BronzeWord Latino Authors opened on May 18th with the Top Ten Days of Crafty Chica Kathy Cano-Murillo. What used to be BronzeWord’s Blog has moved and is thriving on BronzeWord Latino Authors at Come and read about your Latino authors and their accomplishments. Learn about contests, the publishing world, and about agents/editors. We celebrate you with the Top Ten Days of different Latino authors with ten days of interviews/book reviews/articles by the author. We are creating the first ever Latino Virtual Book Tour. Join us and become a host for this major event. Latino bloggers are going to be highlighted every Saturday on BronzeWord Latino Authors. Blog Carnivals are in sight just down the road. La famila awaits you. BronzeWord Latino Authors: the clearinghouse for all things Latino Literature.

Join @LatinoBookNews for the latest in Latino authors and their books; find out about contests, awards, and book publishing news. @LatinoBookNews is the clearinghouse for all things in Latino Literature. Submit your book news, awards, and publishing triumphs to me at and let the world know about your successes. Bragging rights open to all. Learn what is new and relevant in Latino Literature. Support other Latino authors as they support you. Join la familia at @LatinoBookNews

I would like to share the news that my Paranormal Romance HUNTED MATE,, WON the "Golden Rose Award" for best Erotica Romance for 2008 books! It is available in Print and Ebook at all stores and Online. Readers can check out more info at my site

Book Promo 201: Harness the Power of the Internet with Web 2.0 and Social Media Marketing by Nikki Leigh

Have you heard of Web 2.0 and Social Media Marketing? Many people on the Internet are using these. Are you on Facebook or Twitter? Did you ever Digg a web page? Those are examples of Web 2.0 and Social Media Marketing. There are many social networking web sites, but a key is knowing which sites are beneficial for you. Another key is understanding how and why to use them. These are a couple of the topics discussed in this book along with over 1200 links to resources (almost all are free). You will turn to this book again and again to create an expanded and effective presence on the Internet to promote yourself and your books. - More Information about Promo 201 - Order Your Copy Now

The Tuareg: Blue Man of the Sahara by George DiGuido. will be released June 20th. The Tuareg is a fantastic summer read (great for the beach). The Tuareg: (1828-1830) sweeps you into the life and times of a young Virginia plantation woman, a dashing aristocratic Frenchman, and a semi-civilized Tuareg chieftain of the desert.

This masterfully told story takes place in exotic and diverse locals such as London; the tents of nomadic tribes; the decadent, intrigue-filled Turkish kasbah at Algiers, and the savannah-land country of Africa’s premier slave king. Voyage across three continents, through the beautiful yet cruel Sahara and into the heart of Africa.

The book has received rave reviews so far, here are a few excerpts:

“This novel will delight a broad spectrum of readers: historians, ethnographists, geographers, political scientists, adventure-lovers and hardcore romantics. In short, the novel has the fascination of The Sheik and the intellectual depth and scope of Lawrence of Arabia.

“Get this book and put on your nightstand, but don’t expect to get much sleep.” -Dr. Thomas Wolfram, Department of Physics and Astronomy at University of Missouri-Columbia; and author of two novels, and one book

The Tuareg: Blue Man of Sahara by George DiGuido is a dynamic book from page one till the end, you will sit on the edge of your seat in anticipation, yet you will learn much about this culture.” -Reviewed by Carol Hoyer, PhD, for Reader Views

“The thought and care that Mr. DiGuido has put into this novel is incredible… History has collided with fiction to form this terrific book.” -Reviewed by Kimberly, Coffee Time Romance

“Captivating! The Tuareg abounds with adventure, resonates with culture clashes, and pulsates with love.” - Reviewed by Camellia, The Long and Short of It

I would appreciate it if you would include any of the information above in your newsletter publication. Also, the book is currently available for pre-order on our Web site here:

Thank you,

Vivisphere Publishing

Dear Yvonne, I’m with a new company called FiledBy, and we’ve just launched the most comprehensive online marketing platform and author directory on the Internet. I’ve noticed on your blog – Writer's in the Sky and that you provide your readers with information about freelance writing and publishing, and we would like to pass along some information about our new Web site that might be of interest.


FiledBy Adds More Than 1 Million New Sites for Co-authors, Illustrators, Photographers, Artists, Editors, Translators, and Others

FiledBy ( has expanded its online author directory by adding and linking together sites for co-authors, illustrators, artists, photographers, and others who contributed to the publication of a book.

“The contribution of illustrators, photographers, artists and many other creators are important to the publication of books in a wide range of formats and subject categories,” said Peter Clifton, FiledBy CEO and president. “FiledBy now offers a platform for further expansion of their ideas and creativity on the web.”

FiledBy featured 1.8 million author sites in its directory before the latest expansion, which adds more than 1 million contributors whose efforts led to a published work.

Each contributor now has a free site that he or she can claim and enhance with photographs, a biography, links and multimedia (video, podcast or PDF). All sites are now linked to relevant contributors on FiledBy and include pages for each of their books. Finding and connecting with new audiences on the web is critical for authors and creators to be successful. FiledBy provides a marketing platform for those who do not have a web presence and provides additional value for those that do.

FiledBy has three valuable benefits. It is the largest online directory organized by authors and contributors. It offers any author or contributor a free Web site where they can connect with fans and peers as well as promote their work. And it offers authors and contributors affordable digital marketing tools to enhance their online presence.

The platform is ideal for any author or contributor who needs a low-cost and effective web presence. Author and contributor sites can integrate photographs, biographies, video, podcasts, press kits, blogs, event listings and more. For others, it is an online platform that complements and links to existing author Web sites, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, publisher pages or blogs.

Authors and books on FiledBy cover all subject and publishing categories including general trade, academic and professional. In addition to author and contributor sites, FiledBy features more than 7.5 million books. All books are available for sale through Amazon, Amazon Canada, B&, Powells, Borders, Indigo and Indiebound.

The data used on the site is licensed from trusted industry sources and supplemented by data from publishers and content provided by authors and contributors.

FiledBy is the largest online directory of author sites providing web tools, e-commerce and community-building solutions for published book authors and contributors — co-authors, illustrators, photographers, artists, translators and editors. FiledBy provides authors and readers with social tools to connect with each other and can be discovered through a single database.

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

June Issue of Writers in the Sky E-Zine Now Available

Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

Writers in the Sky Creative Writing Services has published the June issue of a very informative e-zine about writing, editing, publishing, and book marketing and you may read it online.

If you feel overwhelmed when you click the link above, don't panic. Just slowly close that window and come back to this writing e-zine site, take a deep breath, and wait for the segments to be posted over the course of the next month. If you don't want to sit here and wait that long, you can try to remember to come back here. Better yet, simply sign up for the RSS feed or become a follower of this blog.

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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Podcast Schedule June 2009

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

June 5

Karen Reddick is the author of two books: The A-Z Guide: The Best Ways To Work With a VA Grammar Done Right, a clear, commonsense approach to grammar, usage, and style, which was recently released in a revised and expanded 2nd edition. Karen was awarded the coveted designation of Master Virtual Author’s Assistant (MVAA) and Master Virtual Assistant (MVA), both of which are considered the highest achievements in the virtual assistant industry. She will be sharing about her life as a virtual assistant and giving us editing tips from her book during this podcast interview with Yvonne Perry.

June 12

Barbara Milbourn will be interviewing LJ Sellers—an award-winning journalist, editor, novelist, and occasional standup comic based in Eugene, Oregon. She is the author of the highly praised mystery/suspense novel, The Sex Club, and has a second Detective Jackson story, Secrets to Die For, coming out in September. Ms. Sellers is also an excellent editor and ghostwriter with a great sense of story structure, tension, and pacing. She is a member of the popular editing blog, The Blood Red Pencil. LJ Sellers will be discussing both the editing services she provides and her two novels. Learn more about LJ Sellers and her work at

June 19

Yvonne Perry will interview Joseph R Lavelle (Joe) about his new book Act As If It Were Impossible to Fail, The Employee Handbook That Your Employer Hasn’t Given You. Joe is an accomplished management consulting executive and business coach assisting with the technology challenges of diverse organizations including health delivery networks, health plans, healthcare software vendors, and several Fortune 500 companies. Joe has dedicated his career as a strategic business advisor to ensure that his clients achieve maximum performance. He will share insight with our listeners.

June 26

Barbara Milbourn will share her discussion with Leo Abrami, author of the new book Evading the Nazis. Mr. Abrami was taken by his mother to hide with farmers in Normandy, France during World War II to avoid the inevitable persecution by the Nazis. Although Jewish, he pretended to be Catholic and lived safely with his adoptive family until France was liberated by the Allies. Evading the Nazis tells Mr. Abrami’s story of survival during the war and his determination to investigate his family and cultural history once he was free. Tune into this discussion to learn more about one boy’s amazing experience during war, and the man’s later determination to speak for others who could not.

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Monday, June 1, 2009

Writers’ Podcast Promises an Exciting Start to Summer with Its Author Offerings

Writers in the Sky Podcast Guests Offer Discussions That Will Motivate Your Writing Efforts and Inspire You to Think Big

Nashville, TN, May 24, 2009—The Writers in the Sky podcasts for the month of June will present a series of interviews that will be both educational and inspirational for the listeners. The month will begin with a woman whose background and proven excellence in editing and author assistant services will be of interest to anyone involved in the business of writing. The next week features another editor who has received accolades for her services, and who is also a ghostwriter as well as the author of her own mystery novels. Anyone looking for tips that will lead to greater success in any profession will want to tune into our next podcast, which features an interview with a dynamic personal and business coach. Writers in the Sky will end the month with a Jewish man who survived Nazi-occupied France and has spent his adult life teaching others his family and cultural history.

The weekly podcast will present its first guest for the new month on June 5, when Writers in the Sky owner Yvonne Perry welcomes Karen Reddick. Karen is the author of the book Grammar Done Right!, which offers quick and easy access to the most common grammar, usage, and style rules laid-out in alphabetical format and making it a perfect companion to keep by a writer’s keyboard. Karen Reddick is also the owner of The Red Pen Editor and V and E Services and provides editing and author assistant services to publishers, authors, and writers. Karen was awarded the designation of Master Virtual Author’s Assistant (MVAA) and Master Virtual Assistant (MVA), both of which are considered the highest achievements in her industry. Karen will be discussing her services and how they may be of benefit to both new and experienced writers. Please visit to learn about Karen’s book.

On June 12, the focus on services that are available to writers will continue, as Barbara Milbourn will be interviewing LJ Sellers. Ms. Sellers is an award-winning journalist, editor, novelist, and occasional standup comic based in Eugene, Oregon. She is the author of the highly praised mystery/suspense novel, The Sex Club, and has a second Detective Jackson story, Secrets to Die For, coming out in September. Ms. Sellers is also an excellent editor and ghostwriter with a great sense of story structure, tension, and pacing. She is a member of the popular editing blog, The Blood Red Pencil. LJ Sellers will be discussing both the editing services she provides and her two novels. Learn more about LJ Sellers and her work at

The podcast focus broadens on June 19 when Yvonne Perry sits down with Joe Lavelle to discuss his new book Act As If It Were Impossible to Fail. Joe is the president of Results First Consulting LLC, through which he shares a collection of strategies that he has learned as a personal and business coach. Joe has now translated this information into a book that is geared towards career-oriented professionals who want to accelerate their career growth and find strategies, knowledge, and tools to get promotions and raises faster. He teaches goal-setting, communication skills, team building, and much more. Please visit to discover more about Joe Lavelle and the information that he offers to professionals in all areas.

The last podcast interview of the month will take place on June 26. Barbara Milbourn will share her discussion with Leo Abrami, author of the new book Evading the Nazis. Mr. Abrami was taken by his mother to hide with farmers in Normandy, France during World War II to avoid the inevitable persecution by the Nazis. Although Jewish, he pretended to be Catholic and lived safely with his adoptive family until France finally was liberated by the Allies. Evading the Nazis tells Mr. Abrami’s story of survival during the war and his determination to investigate his family and cultural history once he was free. Tune into this discussion to learn more about one boy’s amazing experience during war, and the man’s later determination to speak for others who could not. Please visit to purchase the book.

“We are excited to publicize the expertise of some of our fellow writers and editors as part of the June podcast series,” shares Yvonne Perry, owner of Writers in the Sky Creative Writing Services, which produces the podcast. “I believe these shows may inspire listeners to greater personal heights.”

About Writers in the Sky:
Writers in the Sky blog, podcast, and newsletter is a three-fold production filled with information about writing, publishing, and book publicity created by Yvonne Perry as part of Writers in the Sky Creative Writing Services (

Listening to Writers in the Sky Podcast on a computer is easy. Go to 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 the audio file.

CONTACT Yvonne Perry

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