Friday, May 30, 2014

This Week's Podcast Guest: Social Media Guru Melonie Dodaro

This week, I had the pleasure of interviewing author and social media guru, Melonie Dodaro. Melonie's company, Top Dog Social Media, helps businesses make the most of their marketing and branding efforts. Her blog has been listed by the Social Media Examiner as one of the Top 10 Social Media blogs of 2014. Now she reveals some of her most important trade secrets in her new book, The Linkedin Code.

Many people consider Facebook and Twitter the best tools to build an online community. But as Melonie points out, Linkedin is an excellent way for everyone--including writers--to reach their target audience. We just need to know how to use it!  

Click here to listen to the podcast. Then on June 3, order The Linkedin Code and unlock the largest business social network!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Join Us for the Twist of Fate Book Tour!

My Spirituality

By Shawna C. Jones,
Author of Twist of Fate
Thank you for allowing me to blog on this topic today.
Spirituality to me is connecting with something greater than myself. I know there are many definitions, and I won’t even get into the specific religious ones. I believe spirituality and religion can blend, but I don’t consider myself a religious person.

I grew up with no religious beliefs, and I am grateful for that. It allowed me to choose what worked for me, and I didn’t get brain washed at a young age. I didn’t believe in God one way or the other. Perhaps God was invented by humans? If there was no God, would I be okay with that? The journey to finding your own truth may be a long one. But it’s yours and no one else’s.

Like most things in life, spirituality has to be experienced. It can’t be learned from a book or church service. In my book, I had a spiritual experience. It surprised me, since I didn’t expect it and, I don’t know if my mentor knew it would happen or not, but he must have felt I was ready to experience it. 

I would say that my search for my True Home became my spiritual journey. When I describe my home to anyone, they tell me it sounds like Heaven. And yet, I know it’s not Heaven. I don’t even believe in Heaven or Hell, but I do know there exists other dimensions and planets/stars, and even other states of consciousness. My home is a Star system of high frequency. It is called Astellerone (I’m not sure of the spelling). I get homesick just thinking about it. The good news is, I can travel there mentally at any time to be with my family and the wonderful beings that live there. Do I think I can advance even higher than that place? Quite possibly, but I don’t even know if I want to. It’s just too beautiful. And I belong there, which is huge for me.

That doesn’t diminish anyone else’s experience or place of origin. If you’re from Pleiades, Venus, Sirius, or other dimensions, you still shine a bright light on Earth, and help to uplift the planet. Most of us came here with a mission. We want to complete it regardless of what’s on our path. It relates to doing something for the planet or others here, whether to serve (help) others, anchor more light into Earth, honor all creatures (especially animals), or plant more trees. Whatever we do, we are careful to not cause more harm to a planet already in crisis.

I didn’t find my home until I had Chi Nei Tsang massages. We are carrying issues, blockages, and everything else from many, many past lives. We need to get rid of it. As Steve, my masseuse, used to say, “We’re putting more Christ light (Buddha light) into your body.”

I know this is my last life here, and I intend to complete my mission. I will resign from being a planetary healer, as I’ve done this too many times already. It’s someone else’s turn. As for this life, I intend to continue traveling, meditating, healing, and making this planet as bright as it can be. Mother Earth needs all the help she can get.

I hope everyone finds their connection to the Divine, whatever that may be. As Pierre Teilhard de Chardin said, “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings having a human experience.”

Thank you for reading,

As part of the Twist of Fate Tour, Shawna is offering the following prizes to a random commentator:
A  $50.00 Amazon Gift certificate.
A half hour psychic reading of your choice of readers. (up to $60.00)
A $50.00 Starbucks gift card.

Enter to win your choice of prizes – a Rafflecopter Giveaway

Here is the full tour schedule--make sure to leave a comment!
May 26: The Reading Addict
May 27: Our Wolves Den
May 28: Writers in the Sky Podcast, Ezine and Blog
May 29: Deal Sharing Aunt
May 30: You Gotta Read Reviews
June 2: Sexy Adventures Passionate Tales
June 3: Welcome to My World of Dreams
June 4: Long and Short Reviews
June 5: Kinky Vanilla Romance
June 6: It's Raining Books


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

WITS Book Reviews

Title: Before (B4: Book I)
Author: Mia Zabrisky
Publisher: Mia Zabrisky Books
Genre: Thriller
Publication date: (March 4, 2014)
Book Length in Pages: 71
Reviewer: Dana Micheli

Well, she has done it again! Mia Zabrisky, who, is in my opinion one of the best kept literary secrets out there, has written another un-put-downable thriller.

Whereas Zabrisky’s earlier books spent time in the past, Before (“B4: Book I”) explores a dark, totalitarian future. A man wakes up in a strange hotel room with no memory of how he got there, or even who he is. He also doesn’t know the identity of the beautiful and very dead woman lying next to him. He is soon chased from the room by men who clearly want to capture him…or worse. Now, slinking around the back alleys of a dismal, unfamiliar city, he tries to figure out what has happened to him. The only clue he has is the strange “B4” tattoo on his wrist, which he discovers has branded him a violent patient of a nearby mental hospital. He is also the number one suspect in the woman’s murder; his face is posted everywhere and he is being hunted by the drones patrolling the city.

Not far away, in another dilapidated motel room, another amnesiac commits a brutal murder for hire. This young woman is not paid with money, however, but with a few precious moments in which she is given access to her memories.

Is this Zabrisky’s commentary on where our society is headed, or simply the product of an incredible imagination and a cynical view of runaway technology? We don’t know, and it really doesn’t matter. We will have the nightmares either way.

One of my favorite things about Zabrisky is that she is a serial series writer. It allows me to savor each book, waiting for the delicious cliffhanger that will undoubtedly be waiting for me and knowing that the next installment will still manage to up the ante.

Title: Pinkslipped
Author: Romina Wilcox
ISBN-10: 1493627333
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Genre: Fiction
Publication date: (February 12, 2014)
Book Length in Pages: 290
Reviewer: Dana Micheli

I have always loved Romina Wilcox’s work; her cybercrime novels kept me on the edge of my seat and gave me a peek into the world of Silicon Valley. I am equally impressed with her departure from cybercrime. Her new novel, Pinkslipped, is the all too realistic story of one family dealing with the loss of employment, as well as financial and emotional security, during the Great Recession.

By all accounts, Jennifer and Ed Tesler lived an enviable life, with three children, a beautiful home in an upscale California neighborhood and luxury cars. Jennifer had climbed the corporate ladder in a male-dominated field and, after fifteen years at Tri-Tech, was probably on her way to breaking the glass ceiling as well. Her office was her second home, and she felt like she was part of a corporate family, indispensible. That illusion was shattered after the global economy went into freefall, resulting in huge layoffs at Tri-Tech. Jennifer is shocked to learn that she is one of the casualties. She will spend the next two years not only trying to get another job, but trying to recover her sense of self-worth and stop her family from losing everything they’ve worked for.

Pinkslipped also takes an honest look at the nature of the American Dream. The economic meltdown of 2008 was terrifying, not only for those directly affected by it, but by all Americans. We all felt as if the rug had been ripped out from under us, with no idea of how far we’d fall.

Ultimately, however, Pinkslipped is about the resiliency of that dream. It reminds us that it not only survived the Great Depression, but came back stronger than ever, and it will do so again. The book is also about the power of faith—in God, in family, and in one’s self –in helping us overcome even the scariest of circumstances.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Join Us for a Conversation with Novelist Shawna C. Jones

Shawna C. Jones has always considered herself to be a seeker, both geographically and spiritually. Now she has added author to that list with her recently released first novel, Twist of Fate. It is the gripping story of a young woman's year-long trek through Europe and is based on Shawna's own adventures. Next week, Shawna will embark on a new kind of journey--traveling  the blog-o-sphere with the first of two virtual book tours.  We're thrilled to be a host site for both, so check back on May 28 to read more about Shawna's work. In the meantime, tune into our podcast to hear her dish about spirituality, wanderlust, and the inspiration to live the writer's life.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Poetry and Prose Corner May 2014

Enter Singing

Quiet little lotus blossom
Nestling in silent waters,
Would you disallow the world
The wonder of your rainbow smile?
The softened sigh of your sweet voice,
The Heaven fragrance that you breathe,
The pleasure of your company
If only for a little while.

Tapping softly at my door,
Your angel voice a welcome song.
Come share with us the lilting joy
Of all that life is meant to be.
Just one chorus, then one more,
Sweet manna to a grateful throng,
The Merlin magic you employ
To set a wistful spirit free.

Bright lights fill to every corner
Casting shadows wide and long,
And happiness surrounds you when
You enter singing love’s sweet song.

Dennis S. Martin
Lulu Storefront:

The Graduate

Handshakes and hugs
And broad smiling tears,
Confident speeches to
Veil silent fears,
And time pauses briefly
Recalling the years
As the graduate
Glides ‘cross the stage.

Backslapping well-wishers
Seem to abound as the
Honorees hover
Five feet off the ground
And nowhere for miles
Can a dry eye be found
As each book
Opens a new page.

Glittering hope casts
Her sparkling beams
And offers her bosoms
To nurture new dreams,
To fill with a prospect
That bursts at the seams
And the clock cannot wither
With age.

Dennis S. Martin
Lulu Storefront:

Friday, May 16, 2014

Show and Tells Celebrate Personal History Awareness Month in May

“I made this T-shirt,” begins Beverly, “after the Northridge Earthquake of 1994. I had an arm in a cast but was pulling others out of the debris. It says, “California: Fire, Flood, Shake and Bake!”

“Here’s the footstool I made for my mother at Central High School in Murfreesboro. This is the medal I won for Best Student in the manual program there. I still have the dresser that I made, shown in this picture,” beams 98-year-old Thomas.

And so the stories start. To increase awareness of the importance of preserving and sharing personal history, the Association of Personal Historians (APH) members are hosting “Show & Tell” events. A grown-up version of grade school’s Show & Tell, people bring an old photo, letter, memento, a treasured personal item or even an ancient artifact to “show and tell” the stories behind the items.

Show and Tells in the Nashville, Tennessee area can be found on the Events page at For other locations use the national website, event page, and check Show & Tells.

APHers aim to spread the conviction that every person, family, community, and organization has a story worthy of being recorded and preserved. The APH’s motto is
“Yes, it’s time – Time to tell the story of your life.”

Submitted by Deborah Wilbrink, a personal historian and a Writer In the Sky. Contact Deborah:

Friday, May 9, 2014

How to Research Keywords to Help You Create the Perfect Book

Last month we talked about how to create bestselling book ideas ( and use keywords to help identify the right market, focus, and direction for your book. Now, let’s dig a bit deeper into the topic of keywords and focus on the strategy for identifying the exact right words for your market.

These days, just about everything we talk about in regards to social media comes down to using the right keywords. But the topic of keywords actually goes deeper than that. Keywords affect all areas of promotion: from creating the right copy on your website, to placing ads on Facebook that get attention, to developing an irresistible book idea. But more than that, you want to create a book idea that Amazon will love. The keyword strategies I discuss here can be used for anything: blog post topics, verbiage on your website, and book topics. Once you learn the how-tos of this, you’ll find yourself digging through keywords, not only because they are good strategy, but because without them your message may get lost in the ether.

Getting Started:

The first step to generating good keywords is to use sites that offer keyword data. Though a lot of folks default to Google’s AdWords tool, you do need to have a Google AdWords or Gmail account to use it. If the AdWords tool will work for you, you can reach it here: If you haven’t used this tool in a while, be warned that some of the functionality has been stripped away. I typically don’t just stick with one tool; I’ll use several, then compare results.

If using Google is not your preference, consider these alternative keyword solutions:

Free keyword tools

• Wordtracker –
• Ubersuggest –
• SEO Book –
• WordPot –

My personal favorite is Ubersuggest, and I’ll explain in a minute why.

Cast the Net Wide

The idea of this keyword exercise is to guide you and help you focus on specific keywords and current trending topics. We’ll talk about the latter in a minute. For now, let’s say you searched on AdWords for the term “book sales”.

Plugging in that keyword will show you suggestions, as well as the keyword’s average monthly searches. The “Competition” column is related to the AdWords rate, as you’ll see off to the right. The suggested bids will often reflect this. Typically, I’ll look for keywords that are getting 500 monthly searches or above. Unless your topic is super niche, anything less than that may not get you the kind of results you want.

As you review the wide range of related phrases, you’re looking for two things: phrases that more specifically relate to your topic and completely new phrases that have a similar meaning, especially those with high search volume. Add these phrases to your list.

Other Ways to Find Keywords

If you’re reading through this article thinking, “Well, this is fine, but I’m not even sure what my keywords are,” then let’s look at some ways to help define these for you.

Google Analytics: This is a great tool to help you find phrases and topics that are already driving traffic. If you have Google Analytics installed on your website you can farm all sorts of data. If you don’t have it, it’s easy to do. Ask your web person to install it asap. It’s a free system from Google and a fantastic source for anything you need to know about how your website is doing (traffic), how people are accessing your site (site data) and what’s bringing them there (keywords). So, let’s assume you have Google Analytics, from the backend of the site click: Acquisition, then click Keywords, and then click Organic.

This will show you how folks are finding your site, which is really handy. I often find some great keywords there that I use in blog posts, social media updates, or any ads that we run.

• Google Suggest: Just begin entering relevant keywords into Google and see what phrases Google suggests. You may also want to use a question, so, type “how to” or “what” and add in your topic. The top searches that come up typically have high volume and this should give you a good sense of what consumers are looking for.

Now for one of the best kept secrets in keywords: Ubersuggest. I love Ubersuggest because every day it scrapes all the searches on Google and when you pop in keywords it’ll show you a treasure trove of recent searches, word combos, keyword suggestions, everything. I adore this site. It’s the best keyword search tool I’ve seen in a while, and it does the same thing as the Google search bar but on a larger scale.

Now What?

So now that you’ve done this work and become a keyword pro, build a list of ten to fifteen keywords or keyword strings. This is now the data that you can use to sift through Amazon and see what other competing titles there are on the site. Check out the other article I wrote on this (in the link mentioned above) and get some tips for incorporating keywords into your book creation process. Ideally, you want whole strings of words, like what Ubersuggest offered when I plugged in the term “book marketing”. Keep this list; you’ll use it over and over again during this process.

Good keywords will benefit you in dozens of ways. We use them in blog post titles, social media updates, copy on our website. Absolutely everything. Knowing how your consumer searches and what verbiage they plug into the search bar is crucial to getting found and getting your book noticed. Some years ago, a friend who is knee-deep in SEO told me that many of her friends were doing books based solely on keyword searches or what was hot in searches. While I don’t recommend this practice, it goes to my point that if your book isn’t somehow aligned with your consumer’s mindset, it could languish in obscurity. But what happens if your book is already out there? Well, then consider pulling these keywords into your book description on Amazon and when adding keywords to your book (which you do when you upload it to the Amazon site). You can also use these on the copy on your book webpage.

Keywords, in a sense, are like a GPS, taking you and your book on the right path. Finding the right ones, and using them, can really help expedite your journey and book success.

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


Thursday, May 8, 2014

WITS Announcements

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

Writers in the Sky’s Deborah Wilbrink has been chosen competitively to present a workshop at the annual conference of the Association of Personal Historians. Print on Demand? Your EZ Guide to Online Publishing will explore the different online publishing platforms and sites, and teach what questions to ask and where to look for answers before you choose a site for your project. Perfect for those lost in the maze of internet publishing options, and those new to online publishing. Deborah's presentation is October 25 in St. Louis, Missouri. She is a consultant editor, ghostwriter and personal historian. Contact Deborah to give workshops to your group or for private coaching. See events 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.
Do you have a great idea for a book but don't have the time or skills needed to complete the project? Our team will use your notes or rough draft, conduct author interviews, and/or transcribe your audio files to write your book. And the best part is, your name will be on the cover! Learn more:
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.
Writers in the Sky offers three different levels of editing--developmental, copy editing, and proofreading for books, articles, and other documents. WITS has edited many books for publishers, several of which became bestsellers in their category. We offer full or partial edits, as well as the opportunity to work with an editor as much or as little as you like.
Whose Stuff Is This? Finding Freedom from the Thoughts, Feelings, and Energy of Those around You is a guidebook for empathic people who have been unknowingly carrying energetic burdens that belong to someone else. See all purchasing options at
You've poured your blood, sweat and tears into your book, and now, after countless rounds of writing, rewriting and editing, it is finally ready for market. Think your work is over? Think again. These days, whether you are a self-published or traditionally published author, you are responsible for the lion's share of the marketing. That's why Writers in the Sky offers a full menu of services to assist you in promoting your book. Visit our website for more information!
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
If you are looking for someone to create an original piece for your book cover, you might want to connect with Diane Daversa on Facebook:!/pages/Diane-Daversa-Fine-Art/109782219119036.
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.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

WAO and WITS Podcast Schedules for May

We Are One in Spirit Group Coaching Sessions for May
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 May 13th and for walk-ins on May 22nd. Both webinar conference calls are at 2 p.m., central time.

Learn more about the group coaching calls at

Writers in the Sky Podcast Schedule for May

Writers in the Sky Podcast is a Nashville-based talk show about writing, publishing, and book marketing. An educational tool for people who want to learn more about the craft and business of writing, this show offers interviews with authors and writers, as well as the latest news about books currently on the market. You will also learn about publishing methods and marketing techniques as we interview publishers and publicists. Listen to archived shows via RSS Feed. Download WITS Podcast on iTunes for your iPod or iPad.

Be sure to tune in to the WITS podcast on May 23. Melanie Dodaro, author and founder of Top Dog Social Media, will discuss her new book, The LinkedIn Code: Unlock The Largest Online Business Social Network to Get Leads, Prospects & Clients for B2B, Professional Services and Sales & Marketing Pros

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Editor's Corner May 2014

When one chooses to be a writer (or, more accurately, writing chooses them), they open themselves up to a world of creativity and joy. Along with this comes solitude and varying degrees of frustration, and we must continually find the motivation to keep going, even when we are tired of our workspace, the sight of our own words, or just plain tired.

We all have ways to add structure to our days and help us maintain this motivation. One thing that I do, rain or shine, is take a long walk around my neighborhood. During the winter, it is a hurried rush through these Brooklyn streets, waiting for the moment when I’ll arrive back at my building and out of the wind and snow. Now, it is a more leisurely stroll, a chance to take in the blooming Cherry Blossoms and other signs of spring.

It occurred to me (on one of these walks) how important it is that we change these rituals every now and again. As comforting as they are, they can become stifling, both personally and professionally. This month, I challenge you—and myself—to create a new ritual. If you’re online all the time, join a face-to-face writers’ community, or work in a coffee shop rather than at home. Changing your rituals--and your environment—is a great way to invite more of that creativity and joy into your writing, as well as your life.  

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