Friday, February 28, 2014

Sell More Books with a Virtual Book Tour

by Dana Lynn Smith, The Savvy Book Marketer

Virtual book tours (also called blog tours) typically involve making guest appearances on book review sites or on blogs, websites, and/or forums that are related to your topic or audience. You can even do teleseminars, podcasts, or live interviews on Blog Talk Radio as part of your tour.

Virtual tours have several advantages over the traditional in-person book tour:

• It's free (unless you hire someone to organize the tour) and there's no time or money spent on travel.
• You can generally reach far more people and reach a more targeted audience.
• A virtual tour provides quality, lasting links to your own author website.

Look for tour hosts that are a good fit for your book and provide unique content to each host. Here are some suggestions for content:

• virtual interviews, where your host asks questions and you respond
• how-to articles in your area of expertise
• excerpts from your book
• articles about how you developed the plot or characters for a novel
• book reviews written by the tour host
• podcasts or teleseminars
• video or blog radio interviews with you
• book promotion videos
• articles about how you published the book or what you're doing to market it

Make the tour more interactive by encouraging readers to make comments or ask questions. Sometimes the host will ask readers for questions in advance.

You can create buzz by giving away a free copy of your book or a related item at some of the tour stops. For example, invite people to make a comment on your guest blog post, then hold a drawing to give away a free copy of your book to someone randomly selected from those who left comments. But the downside of giving away your book during the tour is that some people might wait to see if they win, instead of ordering the book. Instead, you might give away a copy of one of your other books or offer a free e-book to everyone.

Virtual book tours are ideal for launching a new book, but even if your book has been out for a while, a virtual tour can book create buzz and bring in sales.

Tours typically last 5 to 20 consecutive days, with a different tour stop each day or every other day. If you want to do a long tour, you might schedule a 10-day tour and then do a second tour a month or two later. It's never too late to promote your book with a virtual book tour!

About Dana Lynn Smith

Dana Lynn Smith, The Savvy Book Marketer, helps authors and indie publishers learn how to sell more books through her how-to guides, blog, newsletter, and private coaching. Get her free Top Book Marketing Tips e-books at, visit her blog at, follow @BookMarketer on Twitter, and connect on Face-book at


Thursday, February 27, 2014

This Week's Podcast Guest: Mary L. Johnson

This Sunday, millions of people around the world will be glued to their TVs as Hollywood presents its highest honor. Some will watch the Oscars to see who's wearing what on the Red Carpet,  while others will be rooting for their favorite film or actor. I will be watching for both reasons, which is why it was such great fun to interview film aficionado Mary L. Johnson about her book, 6 Degrees of Film: The Future of Film in the Global Village.

6 Degrees of Film is a fascinating discussion of film making through the decades—including the cinematography, writing, directing and acting. It also traces the rise of the big studios and the men--the Mayers, the Goldwyns, and the Selznicks--who built these studios. Each anecdote is an incredible snapshot of critical points in American history, and explores the connection between Hollywood and social / political issues. 

Click here to listen to my interview with Mary L Johnson.
Mary's writing career extends far beyond film; in fact, she is one of the most prolific writers I have ever met. In addition to 6 Degrees of Film, she also maintains several blogs on topics ranging from politics to gluten-free eating. All of them offer powerful insight into issues that matter; for example, explores fundamental challenges that Christians find in the parables of Jesus; and chronicles life as a Florida native.

To learn more about Mary's work, visit the 6 Degrees of Film blog. To buy the book, visit

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

WITS Book Reviews February 2014

Book Title: Fiat
Author: Jeff Schlaman
ISBN 13: 978-1493560936
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Genre: Suspense Novel
Publication Date: December 17, 2013
Book Length in Pages: 308
Reviewer: Dana Micheli

Set in an all too possible world a few years in the future, Jeff Schlaman's Fiat has the feel of a post-apocalyptic horror story; but instead of zombies or thugs brandishing weapons on a bloody field, the perpetrators are in the back rooms of Wall Street and Washington D.C. Their years of fiscal irresponsibility, coupled with a series of devastating super storms, has brought the country to its knees. As a result, America's political enemies have preyed upon it weakness, even placing bids to buy destitute cities.

Schlaman has created a terrifying page-turner that is all the more frightening because, in light of the Great Recession, no longer seems implausible. He captures the narcissism and all encompassing power of the few who hold the strings, usually while the rest of us live in ignorance of what is going on. At the same time, Fiat is a commentary on the runaway materialism that has taken hold of our society; while we may not be the architects of our financial ruin, we are complicit by virtue of our refusal to see the truth. We have come to expect the big houses, gas-guzzlers, and expensive electronics, without any thought to whether we can really afford them.

What made this book so hard for me to put down was the personal stories of people from all walks of life, in different parts of the country. That, along with the political subplots, made this one of the most suspenseful books I've read in quite some time.

Book Title: American Sycamore
Author: Karen Fielding
ISBN 13: 978-1781721179
Publisher: Seren
Genre: Narrative Novel
Publication Date: March 15, 2014
Reviewer: Dana Micheli

It is a rare pleasure to be completely immersed in a book--when a writer is able to engage all five senses so the reader feels like they are truly there. That's what Karen Fielding did when she created the beautiful, tragic world of American Sycamore. It is the story of Alice Sycamore, a young girl coming of age in the rural Pennsylvania of the 1970s, as well as the turmoil of dealing with her mentally ill brother.

Fielding's prose is achingly beautiful, with descriptions of nature so vivid it reminded me of Alice Hoffman. With every page of American Sycamore, I could smell the brackish odor of the Susquehanna River, feel the desolation of walking along it on an icy winter day, and the insects landing on my skin during a hot, sticky summer.

But what I loved most about Fielding's writing is its subtlety. Humor in the face of emotional agony must be used by only the most skilled writers, and even then very carefully, lest it downplays the drama of the story. In Fielding's hands, it gives this drama yet another layer of realism. We see the ignorance of these times through the eyes (and funny, cryptic statements) of Joseph Lightfoot, a Native American who is trivialized by white society but gains wisdom from the ghosts of his ancestors. This also serves as a bit of irony, for Alice's brother, Billy-a manic depressive- also sees things that others cannot. Is Billy completely crazy, or does he also possess a particular brand of supernatural wisdom? While it is most likely the former, it did give me pause. I would be hard-pressed to name many authors--Joyce Carol Oates being one of them--that conveys human emotions and family dysfunctions so simply and so honestly.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Photographic Illustration, Part 1

by Deborah Wilbrink

Stumped for illustrations and book covers? Take your own photographs and use them. You’ll have the copyright, so no problem there. And photographs are the first reality graphics! The impact of a sharp and creative photograph cannot be overestimated.

When I studied photography at the Polytechnic Institute of London in 1975, there were no digital cameras; no personal computers. We shot in joy and trepidation, developed our own prints, and used staging, composition, and pure light for special effects. Everything I know about digital photography I have taught myself, mostly in the past two years. My first color book interior is the result of comparing printed scans at different settings, in my home office, as well as reading feverishly online. I still have much to learn, but these tips will give you a HUGE head start on illustrating your published works.

Start with the best shot possible. Your text isn’t amateurish; your photos should also look

professional. That means framing or composing the best shot, and shooting in the best light. A shot of a tree can show the tree; or, it can be framed so that contrasting words will show against the dark background. That’s for posed or still subjects. If you are shooting action, you can still manipulate the environment for the best shot – try moving yourself and not the subject! Simple software can do wonders, and professional software like Adobe Photoshop can do even more. But starting with a great shot leaves more time for you to write and market.

Create and Inspire. Now your illustrations have a chance for complete originality. Shoot and shoot till you get something that will inspire your reader. It can be literal – a view from your childhood home; or it can be metaphorical – a cubby of ropes signifying neatening up your life! Your original shot can be a design element for your new book’s Face-book page or an illustration for your weekly blog. Lisa Ernst takes her own shots for the blog, and they illustrate her text. Do NOT take a shot of someone else’s artwork, even if you own it, and consider that yours. You will need to get the proper permissions and write the proper credits and copyrights or disclaimers into your publication.

Use higher resolution images. Resolution simply means that your shot resolves into a sharp image at the size you want to see it. That could be anything from a large book cover to a small illustration. How about using a half-inch square as a high contrast graphic design element for chapter headings? Most online publishing sites require at least a 300 dpi, or dots per inch, resolution.

Use the settings for resolution. Some cameras offer a high resolution setting for shooting. Use that. If you are scanning original drawings or hard copy photographs and documents, and you intend to use them in print media, set your resolution to at least 300 dpi. The larger the original image, the better it will reproduce when small. If you scan a 4x6 photo and then want it for an 8.5 x 11”cover, you may have problems, depending on the dpi of the scan. Another measurement you may see is pixels, which measure the size of the original image. There are formulas, sometimes built into software, which will tell you just how sharply your image will print at different sizes. Start with at least 300dpi and you won’t have to worry about this. Not just the camera, but the scanner has resolution settings. Be sure to set them at 300 dpi or higher when scanning personal photos.

Check your image information. A right click on the digital photo will give you menus. [Yes, I’m a PC user! Apple products, specializing in intuitive graphics, may have different ways to do this.] Properties or general details will yield pixel and or dpi scan information. I can testify that getting some shots from church historian XX that proved to be 600 dpi delighted both of us! On the other hand, shots that were emailed at 60 dpi from another writer was the start of hours of backtracking and image manipulation for both of us in order to successfully use those illustrations. The common web image resolution, 60 dpi, may look sharp on your computer screen, but not when printed! Knowing about resolution before your shoot and scans will save you time.

Use all the other features of your scanner. Your scanner is your best friend for capturing existing photographs. Not only resolution, but scanning in batches, cropping while in the scanner, saving into files or by dates, are all possibilities. You can also set to scan documents, photos, black and white, or color; magazine and newspaper articles have settings for getting rid of text that may bleed through. Read your scanner manual and set aside time to experiment. I like to scan old black & white or sepia photographs in color, not black and white, for a warmer finish if the final product will be in color.

If possible remove the photos from under glass or plastic. If you have lots of these and they may get sticky, a Flip- Pal mobile scanner will allow you to leave them in place; a camera will give you fits with glare and reflection, but taking a shot can be done.

Use existing photographs at your own risk! Whenever possible, illustrate with original shots. There are times however, when an existing shot, a historic photo, a portrait, etc. – all be someone else or the terrible-to-track Anonymous seems to be the best and only choice. Be careful with this. You will need legal permission from the copyright holder; buy the rights from a stock image company, or use photographs that are legally in the public domain and note that they are so. I am always looking to learn more about this, and if you know all about it, please get in touch or submit a specific article. Otherwise, you may find these websites a place to start:

You’ll enjoy capturing your illustrations with a camera, a scanner, or working with a photographer whom you know and trust. Enjoy it even more now that you are confident you will get a legal, usable, and communicative photo to publish! Next month Part 2 will address how photos can be used to inspire your writing, and then be integrated for a stronger package.
c. 2014 DW text and photos, all rights reserved

If you liked this, subscribe to the Point of View blog for tips about writing. Deborah Wilbrink is an editor, ghostwriter and formatter for Writers in the Sky. Deborah specializes in personal history with her business Perfect Memoirs. Reach Deborah at 615-417-8424, Be sure to mention Writers in the Sky!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Poetry and Prose Corner February 2014

Don’t Be Afraid

The winds of chance fly swift beyond the clouds
To carry seeds of challenges ahead,
Til buried deep in furrows plainly plowed
They languish in uncertainty and dread.
And every whisper falling on their ear
Lends warning of the dangers yet to come.
Foreboding foils of feckless, freakish fears
Are birth to caution, leaving reason numb.
As aimless arrows all around ascend,
Like willow branches bending without harm,
Fair truth becomes a melancholy friend
To battle with the liars of alarm
Epiphany – at last fair ransom paid –
Speaks softly in my ear, “Don’t be afraid.”

Dennis S. Martin
Lulu Storefront:


By Brenda McBride

As we travel down the road of life, we face challenges and triumps that
present themelves along the way......
We encounter so many people in our journey, some of which take hold of our
hearts and show us Blessings with much to say......
These special people bring us wisdom, guidance and fellowship to lead us
in the right direction where everlasting joy and peace lie ahead......
THey provide us with scriptures that can open up our lives to see the truth
in what God had instore, taking away our tears and replacing it with blessings instead......

The gifts they bring to us are undless, with wisdom, truth and the love
that can be shared through a spiritual bond that's fruitful and real.....
Gifts from the heart last forever in their connection, out of praise and glory from God that can never be broken, can bring comfort to heal......
We will know when we've met these beautiful people of God, they stand out
in a crowd like a shining diamond that sparkles in the night......
They leave their footprints with us wherever we go, feeling so loved and
knowing everything's alright!

Brenda McBride lives in Temecula, California with her two teenage girls and is a substitute teacher working with Special Education students. Several of her articles and poems have been published in various magazines throughout the last several years. When her father passed away in 2011, her grief became so unbearable that she began writing to release deep emotions. There's not a day that goes by without the thought and beautiful memories shared with her wonderful dad.

And Well They Served

To stand on unfamiliar soil,
Stranger to the local custom,
Sent in blindness void of reason,
Purposed only to defend,

Cautioned not to question orders,
You are but a puzzle piece.
Higher forces guide decisions.
“You will thank us in the end.”

Settling into your mission,
Studying a hated foe,
Never knowing what may happen
When and if the mortars fly.

Stealthily behind your weapon,
Senses climbing to a peak,
Ready to defend your comrades,
Question not the reason why.

Grateful when the fray is over,
Though you’re weary to the bone.
A needful nation sent you there.
A thankful throng welcomes you home.

Dennis S. Martin
Lulu Storefront:

Friday, February 14, 2014

Fifty Things Under $50 Bucks to Promote Your Book

These days it seems like everyone's book marketing budget is a little tighter. If you're feeling the pinch, or if you're just looking for some great free stuff to do on your own, here are some tips that can help keep you on track.

1) Buy your domain name as soon as you have a title for your book. You can get domain names for as little as $12.95. Tip: When buying a domain always try to get a .com and stay away from hyphens, i.e. - surfers rarely remember to insert hyphens. You should also consider using your keywords in your domain because it’ll help you rank better. Social media is great, but don’t use your Face-book or Twitter pages as your “website” – you should own your domain and have a site. Period.

2) Head on over to and start your very own blog (you can add it to your website later):

3) Set up an event at your neighborhood bookstore. Do an event and not a signing, book signings are boring!

4) It’s all about content these days so why not create a calendar for content? Often if you aren't sure what to write, or when, a content calendar will keep you on track. You can plan the calendar around your free time (though you should blog weekly) and around holidays or events that may tie into your book.

5) Then, while you’re at it: brainstorm content ideas and start a content folder you can always refer back to when you aren't feeling “inspired” to write anything.

6) Check out other, similar authors online and see if you can do some networking.

7) Do some radio research and pitch yourself to at least five new stations this week. Here’s a great place to find radio stations!

8) Ready to get some business cards? Head on over to The cards are free if you let them put their logo on the back; if you don't they're still really inexpensive.

9) Put together your marketing plan. Seriously, do this. If you don't know where you're going, any destination will do. If you don’t feel like doing an entire “plan” then pick ten things you want to do this month to promote your book.

10) Plan a contest or giveaway. Contests are a great way to promote your book. Make sure to mention the contest on Face-book!

11) Time to get yourself onto Wattpad. Never heard of Wattpad? It’s a place where you can run your content, chapters, short stories, whatever you want, and it’s a fantastic way to build fans and get feedback on your work!

12) Send thank-you notes to people who have been helpful to you.

13) Send your book out to at least ten book reviewers this week.

14) Do a quick Internet search for local writers’ conferences or book festivals you can attend:

15) Create an email signature for every email you send; email signatures are a great way to promote your book and message.

16) Ready to pitch bloggers? Excellent, then start by doing a search for the right ones on Google. You can also head over here and plug in your search term to find the top blogs in your market:

17) Enhance your Amazon Author Central Page by linking to your blog, Twitter feed or adding a video if you have one:

18) Plan your free e-book promotion. If you’re on KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) drop your price to zero for one day or three days. You’ll want to schedule this a week or so out, then head on over to sites where you can list your freebie. There are tons of them but here are two to get you started: and

19) Write your bio and have someone who can be objective critique it; you’ll need it when you start pitching yourself to the media.

20) Schedule your first book event!

21) Start your own email newsletter; it’s a great way to keep readers, friends and family updated and informed on your success.

22) Start a Twitter account and begin tweeting. If you don't think Twitter is significant, think again; it's been a major part of our marketing strategy for over 2 years now (before anyone even knew what Twitter was).

23) Develop a set of questions or discussion topics that book clubs or online book clubs can use for your book, and post them on your website for handy downloads.

24) Start a Face-book Fan page. Fan Pages are much better than a personal profile for marketing because they're searchable in Google.

25) See if you can get your friends to host a “book party” in their home. You come in and discuss your book and voila, a captive audience!

26) Find some catalogs you think your book would be perfect for and then submit your packet to them for consideration. If you're unsure of what catalogs might work for you, head on over to and peruse their list.

27) Go around to your local retailers and see if they’ll carry your book; even if it’s on consignment, it might be worth it! Don’t just offer this at bookstores either, see if your local dry cleaner, gift shops, and restaurants will take it. Often local establishments are very supportive of their local authors!

28) Visual is so important these days, how about getting an account on Vine or Instagram and doing short videos and pictures about your book or topic? Visuals are a great way to sell a book!

29) Write a review for someone else’s book that’s similar to yours. Not sure how this relates to your promotion? Well it’s called networking and it’s just a great idea to always do outreach.

30) Get yourself on Library Thing or Goodreads and start gathering friends and building your profile there:

31) Make sure your blog is connected to Amazon via their Amazon connect program (yes, it's free). (You can do this through your Author Central Page)

32) Ask friends and family to email five people they know and tell them about your book.

33) Leave your business card, bookmark, or book flyer wherever you go.

34) Subscribe to or and make sure that you are getting alerts under your name as well as your book title(s), brand, and keywords.

35) Pitch yourself to your local television stations.

36) Pitch yourself to your local print media.

37) Work on the Q&A for your press kit. You’ll need it when you start booking media interviews!

38) Schedule a book giveaway on Library Thing or Goodreads. It’s a fantastic way to drive new interest for your book!

39) Is the topic of your book in the news? Check your local paper, and write a letter to the editor to share your expertise (and promote your book!).

40) Stop by your local library and see if you can set up an event. They love local authors.

41) Do you want to get your book into your local library system? Try dropping off a copy to your main library; if they stock it chances are the other branches will too.

42) Go to Chase’s Calendar of Events ( and find out how to create your own holiday!

43) Going on vacation? Use your away-from-home time to schedule a book event or two.

44) If your book is appropriate, go to local schools to see if you can do a reading.

45) Got a book that could be sold in bulk? Start with your local companies first and see if they’re interested in buying some promotional copies to give away at company events.

46) Don’t forget to add reviews to your website. Remember that what someone else has to say is one thousand times more effective than anything you could say!

47) Trying to meet the press? Search for Press Clubs in your area, they meet once a month and are a great place to meet the media.

48) Want a celebrity endorsement? Find celebs in your market with an interest in your topic and then go for it. Remember all they can say is no. Check out the Actors Guild for a list of celeb representatives.

49) Ready to get some magazine exposure? Why not pitch some regional and national magazines with your topic or submit a freelance article for reprint consideration?

50) Work on your next book or work on writing mini-books. Sometimes the best way to sell your first book is by promoting your second, but also many authors are writing and promoting mini-books to keep readers engaged while they wait for their next book to come out. How long do mini-books need to be? 50-75 pages. That’s it!

Reprinted from "The Book Marketing Expert newsletter," a free ezine offering book promotion and publicity tips and techniques.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Editor's Corner February 2014

Hello everyone, and welcome to the February 2014 edition of the Writers in the Sky newsletter!

February is a very special, very exciting month, full of ancient wisdom and rich symbolism. It is also a month of transition— leaving the old behind and embracing the new. February’s flowers are primrose and violets, which signify resilience, inspiration, and the promise of Spring; the trees, Rowan and Ash, signify awareness and ascension. This is a time to let go of past disappointments, take what we’ve learned, and move to the next level of creativity.

So, what does this mean for writers? I believe it means stretching our literary muscles further than we ever have before; it’s time to take risks and put our work out there, even if it is uncomfortable or we feel as though we’re not ready. For some, this might mean taking a writing class where they present their stories for critique; for others, it may mean sending that first book out to bloggers for review.

I’m also encouraging all the fiction writers out there to enter the Seventh Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest. Contests are great vehicles to get your work seen by the experts; they also circumvent the lengthy agent-hunting process by awarding the winners a publishing deal and a generous advance.

Remember, though, that ultimately it’s not important how you choose to spread your wings, just that you do it.

Happy February, and happy writing!

Dana Micheli
Writer and editor, Writers in the Sky Creative Writing Services
Writers in the Sky is a team of ghostwriters, editors, and book marketing specialists committed to the craft and business of writing. We work with our clients on all levels of the publishing process from editing and manuscript assessments to book formatting and marketing. So whether you are a first-time author or a veteran of the craft, let Writers in the Sky help you get your book out into the world. We also provide assistance with résumés, business documents, and academic essays. For more information, visit

Friday, February 7, 2014

Coaching Podcast Schedule February 2014

We Are One in Spirit Podcast allows for people from all walks of life to discuss their spiritual journey and life—transforming experiences that remind us that we are all one in spirit. Uplifting, enlightening, and insightful topics include healing, empathy, intuition, spiritual/psychic gifts, metaphysics, soul development, afterlife, spirit communication, and more. The metaphysical shows are archived at feed:// You will also find us on iTunes. Please subscribe to the We Are One in Spirit mailing list to receive the call log-in information:

This month’s interactive calls include group coaching for empaths on February 13th and for walk-ins on February 27th. Both webinar conference calls are at 2 p.m., central time.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

WITS Announcements February 2014

As a subscriber to Writers in the Sky Newsletter, you are entitled to share your announcements with our readers. See guidelines at and send your material to us before the 24th of each month to make the next month’s issue. Anything posted in the WITS Newsletter is also shared with our blog readers at

Read the first chapter for free and then decide if you want to download the 3-hour-long MP3 audio book of More Than Meets the Eye ~ True Stories about Death, Dying, and Afterlife for only $7.00.
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 writing a story that is worth telling everyone. Write a poem or a short story for a chance to win cash prizes! All works must be original. Visit our website for details on how to enter:
A book is being written by Yvonne Perry with the contributions of those who have been using light language or have recently discovered that they have this ability. Please subscribe to We Are One in Spirit blog to get announcements as the project advances toward publishing.

It is our linear thinking that keeps us locked in a shallow understanding of who we are as spirit beings. While familiar things may help us feel safe, they can limit us from communicating on a deep soul level with our Creator. It is when we bypass human reasoning, if only for a brief moment, that we tap into realm where we join with something so pure and wonderful that it defies logical explanation. It is these moments that allow us to know that our experiences in those dimensions are more real than our daily lives, which greatly ignore the divine aspect of who we are. Light is the language of the soul. It allows us to communicate directly with Source without the interference of the mind while activating codes to assist with healing on all levels. Discover the sacred and artistic tool for restoration and ascension.

For centuries, we have used brain-to-brain connection with one another through our logic and intellect. In recent decades we have moved from a database of information previously accepted as truth to a place of “knowing from the heart” in a more loving and accepting way. At the end of 2013, many people activated what is known as light language, which is a form of telepathy that can help us connect soul to soul. This is a step toward the oneness and wholeness we wish to create on Earth.

Visit for more information.
Each story in The Sid Series ~ A Collection of Holistic Stories for Children focuses on life skills such as environmental awareness, helping others, being true to one’s self, overcoming fear, and following inner guidance.
Anjuelle Floyd’s latest novel, "When the Drum Major Died," is set to debut on February 1st, 2014!

Synopsis of When the Drum Major Died

December 28th, 1967.

America has taken a respite from the heated protests and firebombing that engulfed the nation the previous summer.

Martin Luther King, Jr. has begun laying out plans for his Poor People’s Campaign.

Florina Gavin Austin, two days married, has moved across state to Poinsettia, North Carolina where she will begin a new life as Mrs. Redmond Austin.

On approach to the house where she and her husband will live, Florina spies a woman sitting on the steps and smoking a cigarette.

“You must be Redmond’s new wife,” the woman says. “All of Poinsettia’s been talking about you.” Failing to introduce herself, the woman stands, flicks cigarette buts behind the shrubbery, and proceeds into what will become Florina’s new home.

The woman’s uncanny knowledge of the space that Florina will inhabit with her new husband leaves Florina feeling more than ill at ease.

Following the benediction at Sunday services, Florina witnesses the woman she will come to know as Agnes, caress Redmond’s cheek. The look in Redmond’s eyes betrays longing.

Agnes’ words to Redmond in a letter confirm Florina’s fears, “I will always love you.”

They also force Florina to confront her own secrets–her first marriage, one that neither her parents nor Redmond know of.

Florina and Agnes are neighbors. Their houses stand next to each other. Their husbands, Negro doctors in Poinsettia, hold prominent positions in the social and political life of their community. As their wives, Florina and Agnes occupy positions of similar regard.

When Agnes flees to Memphis and joins the Sanitation Workers Protests, all are aghast, none more than Florina. Yet she holds empathy for Agnes, respects Agnes’ strength in standing up for what she and all Negroes across America believe and desire: Civil Rights for their people in America.

As they move towards the fateful day, April 4th, 1968, when a great statesman of America, perhaps the greatest ever, will be killed, Florina learns that marriage exposes the vulnerabilities of all who pledge their trough and body. It casts an even greater shadows upon the ones who vow love unto death, and do not deliver what they have promised.

When the Drum Major Died shows what happens when we resist change in favor of worn out tradition, but also what can and does occur when we open our hearts and embrace the words, “ … be first in love … be first in generosity … He who is greatest among you shall be your servant. …

Visit Anjuelle’s website to learn more

Whose Stuff Is This? Finding Freedom from the Thoughts, Feelings, and Energy of Those around You is a guide-book for empathic people who have been unknowingly carrying energetic burdens that belong to someone else. See all purchasing options at
WITS congratulates Emmy Gatrell on the release of her novel, Meanmna: Book One of the Daearen Realms.

Seventeen-year-old Sarette has always thought of her life as average, even a bit boring. She does well in school, has a loving mother and a loyal best friend, Matthew. Of course, she has her problems as well—cold Michigan winters, a long-lost father she knows nothing about, and the lack of a boyfriend. She also has the vague sensation that she is being watched by some unseen entity, but figures that means she’s average and crazy. But, as she is about to find out, nothing is further from the truth. For her “observer” is the gorgeous and gallant knight, Elwin, and she is not just any teenager, but Princess Sarette -- the half-human, half-fey heiress to the kingdom of the Spirit Fey.

Elwin has come ensure Sarette’s safe journey the fey realm, where she is expected to become queen and restore balance between that world and this one. It also means she must also find a “worthy” mate, ASAP, and make him her king. The problem is, she is already in love with Elwin, and he with her.

As Sarette struggles to say goodbye to her mother and head to a strange new world, the powers of darkness are amassing against her. She and Elwin will have to use all their strength, passion, and of course, magical powers, so Sarette can claim her rightful destiny and save her people from extinction.
State of Appreciation is a free weekly online newsletter that blends practical and spiritual approaches to enhance personal power and self-realization. This publication offers empowering articles, gifts, and free contemporary and classic empowerment downloads at
Second Wind Publishing is accepting short stories, essays and poetry for its upcoming anthology, Wind Through an Open Door. All submissions should deal with the question: what happens to us when we pass from this life? Remembrances of lost loved ones, personal experiences, profound recognitions of the afterlife (or its absence)—regardless of religious persuasion—are all welcome. There is no cost to submit an entry. There is a maximum of 7000 words for essays or short stories. All entries must be submitted no later than March 10, 2014. Those whose work is included in the anthology will receive two contributor copies. Additional copies will be available for purchase, with contributors receiving a 60% discount. Submissions and questions should be sent to
If you are looking for someone to create an original piece for your book cover, you might want to connect with Diane Daversa on Face-book:!/pages/Diane-Daversa-Fine-Art/109782219119036.
Hal Manogue’s new novel, Bed Bosh & Beyond- A True Enough Story, is now in print!

Foreword from Bed Bosh & Beyond

Hal Manogue is a multi-faceted writer. Poetry, prose, pithy sayings...he has covered a lot of territory with his bright mind and keen observations of life. I've been privileged to observe his unfoldment as a poet and author of several fine books. His intelligence is obvious.

In his last book, The Butterfly Ball, he brought up some tough issues that made the reader confront their own dark corners. He showed us that we might not be able to control what happens to us, but we have the free will to choose how we take it. That book won an award as a result of its raw honesty and reminder of what we can do with our lives regardless of circumstances.

In Manogue's latest book, Bed, Bosh, and Beyond, he takes us a step further in the process of how we live our lives. Here, we confront the ultimate challenge - death - and we are introduced to Rob, a man who has lived life on his own terms, died, and is brought through a life review whereby he sees segments of his life interspersed with commentary from his afterlife guide played by none other than his hero, George Carlin. Through reflection and insight into behavioral patterns and attitudes expressed throughout his life, Rob comes to a full awareness of the unity of all life regardless of its multiplicity in expression. As readers, we are given an opportunity to reflect upon our own lives and how our attitudes shape us and confine us. Bed, Bosh, and Beyond is in actuality a primer for living...and as we share in his story, we can reshape our own.

This is a book that is about much more than the storyline would suggest. As we read it, we can work out our own redemption right here, right now. We don't need to die in order to learn how to live.

To learn more about Bed, Bosh, and Beyond visit

Shifting into Purer Consciousness ~ Integrating Spiritual Transformation with the Human Experience is about how to embrace multidimensional frequencies, lessen physical and emotional symptoms of rapid spiritual ascension, and offers tips to make the ascension process easier and quicker.