BOOKS TO WATCH OUT FOR!

Monday, March 31, 2008

BIKINI SEASON VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR '08

Join women's fiction author Sheila Roberts, author of Bikini Season (St. Martin's Press,) as she virtually tours the blogosphere in April on her second virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book Promotion!

Sheila Roberts lives in the Pacific Northwest. She’s happily married and has three children. She’s been writing since 1989, but she did lots of things before settling in to her writing career, including owning a singing telegram company and playing in a band. When she’s not speaking to women’s groups or at conferences she can be found writing about those things near and dear to women’s hearts: family, friends, and chocolate.

You can visit her website at http://www.sheilasplace.com/.

Bikini Season Synopsis:

Erin Merritt has returned to her scenic hometown of Heart Lake to plan her wedding, but when she repeatedly runs into her childhood crush, she wonders if she’s engaged to the wrong man. To make matters worse, all the stress is making her eat, and now she can’t fit into her wedding dress.

Erin enlists the help of her cooking club--Angela, Megan and Kizzy--and the Teeny Bikini Diet Club is born. The women make a pact to get slim enough to wear their bikinis to the lake by summertime, and it changes their lives forever. With a little help from her friends, Angela faces fears that her marriage is crumbling. Megan confronts the self-esteem issues that have always held her back. Kizzy deals with her husband’s efforts to sabotage her diet and keep her overweight. And Erin learns some important truths about love.

Pull up your favorite beach chair and savor this funny, inspiring story about being true to yourself, following your heart and the women who enrich our lives.

"Bikini Season deals with that most painful of annual rituals, fitting into one’s swimsuit. But it’s really about so much more – fitting into one’s life."
--Susan Wiggs, New York Times best-selling author

BIKINI SEASON VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR '08 will officially begin on April 1, 2008 and continue all month. If you would like to follow Sheila's complete tour, visit http://www.virtualbooktours.wordpress.com/ in April. Leave a comment on her blog stops and become eligible to win a free copy at the end of her tour! One lucky winner will be announced on her official tour page at http://virtualbooktoursforauthors.blogspot.com/2008/03/bikini-season-virtual-book-tour-08.html on April 30!

Sheila Roberts' virtual book tour is brought to you by Pump Up Your Book Promotion Virtual Book Tours at http://www.pumpupyourbookpromotion.com/ and choreographed by Dorothy Thompson.

GULP! VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR '08

Join Gabriella Goddard, author of the the self help/personal development book, Gulp! The 7 Day Crash Course to Master Fear and Break Through Any Challenge (Bantam Dell, December '08), as she virtually tours the blogosphere in April on her first virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book Promotion!

As a highly successful international marketing director Gabriella Goddard enjoyed an 18 year career spanning the globe including working in Mexico, Brazil, Japan, UK, France and New Zealand for companies like A.C. Nielsen and MCI/Worldcom. She thought her life was on track until one day a big change was forced upon her. The dot.com bubble burst and the start-up broadband company she worked for went bankrupt.

Overnight she was left without a job, an income and all the symbols of success that go with being a high flyer, including the expense account, swanky leather chair and big corner office.

This twist of fate was shortly followed by the devastating experience of a breast cancer scare. It forced Gabriella to take stock of her priorities and re-evaluate what was truly important in her life.

And that’s when she realized that the ladder she’d been so enthusiastically climbing had been leaning against the wrong wall!

She realized that true success comes from within. It comes from unlocking the innate talents and gifts we all have and allowing them to simply shine through. It comes from choosing to live our greatest life, one full of potential and possibility, rather than mediocrity. And it comes from knowing that we can make a difference, in our special own way.

So in 2001 Gabriella started Goddard International Ltd, a leadership development company dedicated to helping people to “leapfrog” to a completely new level of self awareness, professional growth and personal success by making fundament shifts in how they think, what they feel and what they do.

All it takes is a strong dose of inner clarity, vision, commitment and self belief. And Gabriella’s books, movie clips, coaching services and speaking topics are all aimed at catalyzing this shift.

Originally from New Zealand, Gabriella now lives a free spirited lifestyle with bases in London, New York and Spain.

You can visit her website at http://www.gulptime.com/ or her blog at http://www.gulpblog.com/.

Gulp! Synopsis:

What’s your dream? Your yearning? Your calling?

When Gabriella found a lump in her breast it was a real wake up call. Faced with her own mortality, she was forced to take a good hard look at her life. And that’s when she reconnected to her childhood dream of being a writer. She asked herself, “If not now…then when?”

Gulp! is the realisation of that dream and Gabriella’s message is clear; Give Up Living Passively! Drawing on cutting-edge coaching techniques and blending together Eastern and Western philosophies, she has created a 7 day crash course that offers a new way for people make powerful changes that really matter in their life – without waiting for the wake up call!

So, if you want to change your job, then start now. If you dream of setting up your own business, then start now. If you’ve always yearned of climbing Machu Pichu, then start now. If it’s time to leave a dysfunctional relationship, then start now. If you've dreamed of writing a children's book, then start now. Or if it’s time to deal with a health crisis, then start now.Here is a sample of the secrets you’ll find in Gulp!:- How to recognize your “pivot point” and say yes to change – effortlessly.- The Fear Cycle - and how you can break it in an instant.- Five powerful ways to cultivate inner calm – so you stay strong even in the midst of chaos.- Eight “sparks” to ignite your imagination – and do things you never thought possible. - The five step plan that beats procrastination – and actually turns your idea into action.- How to hone your intuition and instinct – and why it's your secret weapon.- Four easy techniques to stay focused – without losing momentum.Gulp! is a practical, effective everyday guide designed to inspire real people to make real changes. So whether you want to achieve results in seven days or take your time and do it over several months Gulp! will inspire you to kick start your change and help keep you on track to see it through to the end.

Read the Excerpt!

The Gulp! philosophy is simple. Challenges are good. They’re an opportunity to learn and grow. They give us a reason to stop and reflect upon what’s really important to us. They open us to new ideas and opportunities. And they provide us with the impetus to make quantum shifts in our life.

One of my personal quirks is that I’ve long been fascinated by martial arts movies. One great influence was the 1970’s television series called “Kung Fu” starring David Carradine as Kwai Chang Caine, a young, orphaned Shaolin monk and an expert in the ancient Chinese art of Kung Fu. His guide and mentor, an old blind Shaolin priest named Master Po, referred to him as “ah…grasshopper” and taught him about the nature of being and universal harmony. Caine himself, was a softly spoken and gentle character, except of course when he needed to defend himself from a vicious bounty hunter or Chinese assassin. Waiting patiently with all senses alert, he would turn calmly and swiftly taking on an approaching assailant with little fanfare, and dealing with them artfully and gracefully. More modern day movies like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon also display some exquisite examples of graceful and flowing Chinese martial arts scenes that blend stillness and alertness with the ability to act swiftly and elegantly.


Gulp! Wisdom
An attitude of alertness and inner calm is a most powerful weapon.
Takuan Soho, 15th century Samurai
Gulp Time

When faced with challenges in life, wouldn’t it be great to be able to deal with them in the same way? Swiftly and elegantly! Wouldn’t it be great to be so centred in yourself that the action you take is swift and right on target. Wouldn’t it be reassuring to know that when you step outside your comfort zone and into the void of the unknown, you’ll be able to deal with whatever comes up quickly and gracefully, because you are poised and balanced? And wouldn’t it be fabulous to build a sense of inner calm so strong that it gives you the inner power to face even bigger gulps in your life.

That’s why at the heart of the Gulp! philosophy is the importance of being able to calm the mind and build a strong inner core. True inner power comes from your mind and body being aligned and in synch with your soul. In the face of any challenge, this combination is formidable.

To help you face your challenge, I’ve created a 7 day program with one simple aim – that when you step up to your challenge, you can approach it calmly, courageously and confidently, that you can move through it swiftly and gracefully, and that you land on the other side poised and balanced with both feet on the ground.

Day 1: Dare & Defy
The challenge is there, whether you like it or not. So what are you going to do about it? If you’re not going to step up to it now, when will you? Day 1 is all about facing your challenge head on, exploring the deeper meaning beneath it, understand the root of any pain or suffering and making the ultimate choice of “go, or no go.”

Day 2: Breakdown & Breakthrough
The biggest thing holding you back is fear; fear of the unknown, fear of failure and the list of fears goes on. The aim of Day 2 is to master this fear. We’ll break it down and put it under the microscope so you can see it for what it really is. Then we’ll explore ways that you can transform fear from a brake that slows you down, into a propeller that moves you forward.

Day 3: Center & Connect
Being connected to your center and inner core is the fundamental foundation of the Gulp! philosophy. Only when you can silence your thoughts, can you connect to your deeper wisdom. Here there is no fear. Here there is only what is aligned to your true essence and what feels right. In Day 3 you’ll learn different ways to calm your mind and build a strong inner core. This will this help you make better choices and decisions, and remain centered and strong when the pressure hits.

Day 4: Imagine & Invent
When you shut up the chit chat and fears that plague your mind, you create “space” for new ideas and insights to emerge. What if this challenge is actually a catalyst? A once in a life time chance for you to make a quantum shift in your life? The aim of Day 4 is to expand your mind and get you thinking outside. We’ll get you brainstorming new ideas and looking at your challenge completely new perspectives.

Day 5: Plan & Prepare
After stirring up this creativity, it’s now time to chart your course and start to move forward. Day 5 is about defining where you’re heading and what do you need to do to get there. We’ll look at what you know, what you don’t know and what you need to find out. Then we’ll identify clear and targeted actions to take to get you there swiftly and gracefully. And finally we’ll explore ways that you can prepare yourself physically to keep your energy high as you head towards your Gulp

Day 6: Focus & Flow
As you step forward you move into the uncertainty of the unknown. Day 5 is all about encouraging you to let go of control and learn how to simply “be in the flow” as you walk down that path. Today, we’ll explore how intention, intuition and instinct can be powerful signposts to guide you. We’ll also look at what you need to let go of in order to stay light and agile. And you’ll learn how to alchemize any fear that might flare up in the moment.

Day 7: Gulp! & Go
By now, you’ll realise that there’s no turning back. You’re moving forward. You’re on the right path. And in many ways it might feel that the path is actually leading you. It’s Gulp! time. The aim of Day 7 is to inspire you to make that final leap. We’ll tie up any loose ends and then hear the stories of three people who, like you, have bitten the bullet, stepped up to the challenge and transformed their life in the process.

Epilogue
So…if you can make this Gulp!...what else is possible?

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Visit Gabriella's first week of tour stops!

April 1 - Gabriella will be kicking off her tour by stopping off at Paperback Writer!
April 2 - American Chronicle will be hosting Gabriella on her second stop!
April 3 - Third stop finds Gabriella visiting The Story Behind the Book!
April 4 - Her last stop of the day finds Gabriella at Book Cover Lovers!

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GULP! VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR '08 will officially begin on April 1, 2008 and continue all month. If you would like to follow Gabriella's tour, visit http://www.virtualbooktours.wordpress.com/ in April. Leave a comment on her blog stops and become eligible to win a free copy at the end of her tour! One lucky winner will be announced on her tour page at http://virtualbooktoursforauthors.blogspot.com/2008/03/gulp-virtual-book-tour-08.html on April 30!
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Gabriella's virtual book tour is brought to you by Pump Up Your Book Promotion Virtual Book Tours at http://www.pumpupyourbookpromotion.com/ and choreographed by Dorothy Thompson.

CINCO DE MAYO VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR '08

Join Don Miles, author of the the nonfiction narrative history book, Cinco de Mayo: What is Everybody Celebrating? (iUniverse, January '07), as he virtually tours the blogosphere in April on his first virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book Promotion!

Don Miles has been News Director for radio stations in New York City, (WPAT,) Connecticut, Florida, Nebraska and finally Texas. He has won “Best Newscast” award from the Nebraska A.P. Broadcasters and his news teams in Florida and Nebraska have won numerous statewide awards. Don has served on the Board of Directors for Florida’s AP Broadcasters and has judged broadcast news contests for UPI Rhode Island. Don has taught at the Universities of Florida and Nebraska, at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas, and at elementary schools in New York, Connecticut, and Texas.

He is the author of two books in the field of broadcast news, (Broadcast News Handbook and Broadcast Newswriting Stylebook.) He has a Bachelors in Education from State University of New York and a Masters in Journalism and Communications from the University of Florida.

Don’s inspiration for the book came mainly from his late wife, Dr. Minerva González-Angulo Miles. Minerva grew up in the neighborhood at the base of Chapultepec Hill in Mexico City, where the Emperor Maximilian’s castle still stands. She would often visit the castle and view the portrait of the emperor and empress whose story is featured in this book.

Don and Minerva traveled extensively throughout Mexico, and over the past few years visited many libraries and bookstores there in the research for this book. They also spent many hours in the stacks at the Benson Latin American Library at the University of Texas in Austin, which is widely recognized as the premier source for information on this topic. They also paid several visits to the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. to photocopy various U.S. government documents pertaining to the Mexican situation during the 1860’s.

Don wrote and produced plays and slide shows about Cinco de Mayo for elementary students, teachers and parents.

You can visit his website at http://www.donmiles.com/.

Cinco de Mayo: What is Everybody Celebrating Synopsis:

Under the orders of French Emperor Napoleon III, French troops arrive in Mexico in 1861 with a dual purpose: to conquer Mexico and to help the Confederacy win its war against the United States. As President Benito Juárez suspends payment of Mexico’s foreign debts, the French drop their façade of debt negotiations and head for Puebla, where they are soundly defeated in their attempt to capture the city.

The French withdraw from their stunning setback and spend the summer of 1862 nursing their wounds and awaiting reinforcements in Orizaba. This gives the Mexicans ample time to highly fortify Puebla against a future attack. During the spring of 1863, French troops head for Puebla and Mexico City in what they hope will be a pair of easy victories.

Juárez and his government flee Mexico City rather than trying to defend the capital against overwhelming odds. The French make their grand entrance and immediately encounter problems with the Catholic Church. Austrian Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian, asked by the French to become emperor of Mexico, will not accept the throne without a “popular” vote from the people.

When the American Civil War ends in 1865, generals and high-ranking officials from the former Confederate government drift into Mexico. General Ulysses S. Grant’s U.S. Army is now free to stage maneuvers along the border, setting off panic in Mexico City and Paris. Grant’s move prompts Napoleon III to cut his losses and pull his troops out. Now, it’s only a matter of time before Mexican forces retake the country …
Read the excerpt!
The Legend of Camarón

Running out of ammunition at the wrong time had also raised General Forey’s anxiety level. Forey realized that his entire operation would be at risk if he couldn’t provide his troops with food and ammunition. The commander-in-chief had already detached extra troops from Puebla to guard the wagon trains, but now the bandidos and guerillas had dramatically stepped up their attacks on the convoys.

Forey called on the French Foreign Legion. They had just arrived in Veracruz.
They were approaching the little village of Camarón (which means shrimp in Spanish.) For a number of years it was called Villa Tejeda, but the name was changed again to “Camarón de Tejeda,” by which it is known today. The few authors who have written about it in English refer to it as “Camerone,” which is very close to how it’s pronounced in Spanish.

The legion had first seen action in the French conquest of Algeria in 1831. After serving during the Spanish Civil War in 1835, it was stationed in North Africa. Now, on the morning of April 30, 1863, the legion’s Third Company, under Captain Jean Danjou, was escorting a very important convoy from Veracruz. The wagons were bearing ammunition, artillery, food, provisions, and – most critically – three million French francs in gold to pay the troops at Puebla.

Danjou’s group consisted of sixty-four battle-hardened legion veterans: Germans, Swiss, Belgians, Danes, Italians, and Spaniards, in addition to the native Frenchmen. They feared nothing. They had taken the legion’s oath never to surrender.

Stalking the convoy was a Mexican force of somewhere between twelve hundred and eighteen hundred men, depending on whose account you choose to believe, led by a Colonel Francisco de P. Milán. Regular French troops were guarding the convoy itself, but Captain Danjou’s contingent was marching some distance ahead to search for possible assailants waiting in ambush. The legion officers normally in charge of this unit were hospitalized with yellow fever, so Danjou, along with second lieutenants Napoleón Vilain and Clement Maudet, had volunteered to lead this detail.

They had passed through Camarón at about 6:30 in the morning and were cooking breakfast near a location called Palo Verde at 7:00, when one of their sentinels spotted a dust cloud behind them. That could only mean one thing: a lot of people moving rapidly on horseback. They quickly put out their fires and raced toward Camarón, not stopping to retrieve their canteens of fresh water from the pack mules. At Camarón, they encountered several hundred Mexicans who were poised to attack the caravan, and the shooting began.

The convoy was alerted and reversed direction, successfully escaping the ambush, but the legionnaires’ pack mules also panicked and fled at the sound of gunfire, taking all the water and extra ammunition with them. By 8:00 in the morning, a few of the legionnaires had already been wounded.Danjou ordered his unit to take cover in a barn, but the Mexicans lost no time in taking over the huge farmhouse nearby, firing down at the besieged legionnaires from upper-story windows.

Mexican Colonel Milán realized that cavalry wouldn’t be of much help in taking the barn, so he started to surround it with infantry troops. After a few hours, nothing much had changed. The colonel found a Mexican officer of French heritage among his ranks, and he sent Captain Ramón Lainé with a white flag of truce to see if they could negotiate a surrender.

It didn’t work.

Captain Danjou said his legionnaires had plenty of ammunition, and that they’d keep on fighting.
By now, the Mexicans had surrounded the barn and were firing from all sides. It was a hot day, and the legionnaires inside were just discovering that the only canteens they had were filled with wine, not water, because the pack mules had run away with the water as the fighting started. It was going to be a long afternoon.

Although the Mexicans had obvious superiority in numbers, the legionnaires had the upper hand in training and firepower. Most of the Mexicans were of the “national guard” variety. They had left their farms and small businesses just days earlier to help defend their country, while the legionnaires were well accustomed to the sound of gunfire and highly experienced in the art of war. The Mexicans had ball-and-musket rifles, which gave off so much smoke that at times they couldn’t see what they were shooting at. The legionnaires were firing percussion-driven cylinders with pointed tips, known as “bullets,” and they could see exactly where they were aiming.

In spite of all their technical superiority, the legionnaires were fighting a losing battle. Captain Danjou and Lieutenant Vilain were both dead before noon, and the command fell to Lieutenant Maudet for the rest of the afternoon. Inside the barn, things were going from bad to worse. Ammunition was running out, and the extra supply had vanished with the pack mules. The Mexicans kept charging the barn, and although they were driven back, they were killing another legionnaire or two each time. By 5:00 PM, the legionnaires had already stripped whatever ammunition was left from the bodies of their dead comrades.

The Mexicans knew they had won, but they also knew that the remaining legionnaires intended to fight to the death. They set fire to some straw and threw it into the barn, hoping to bring the matter to a close. The legionnaires just stamped out the burning straw and continued firing through the smoke.

By 6:00 PM, only Maudet and four of his legionnaires were still alive. Each man had only one round of ammunition left. The lieutenant had a decision to make.

“Reload,” he ordered. “Then fire on my command and follow me. We’ll finish this with our bayonets.”

It was going to be a suicide charge.

The Mexican commander, Colonel Milán, ordered his troops to cease fire. All five legionnaires were captured after some brief hand-to-hand fighting, but Lieutenant Maudet and one of his men died of their wounds within a short time. The remaining three were hospitalized, along with the Mexican wounded.

The French later returned to put up a monument at the scene of the battle. For many years, members of the French Foreign Legion have returned each April 30 to what is now called “Camarón de Tejeda” to honor the courage of their fallen heroes. The encounter still stands as the worst defeat in legion history.
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Visit Don's first week of tour stops!
April 1 - Don's first stop will be Blogcritics at http://blogcritics.org/archives/2008/03/19/175436.php!
April 2 - Midwest Book Review gives Don a nice review at http://www.midwestbookreview.com/rbw/jun_07.htm#burroughs!
April 3 - Don receives another great review at Reviewers Choice Reviews at http://www.reviewers-choice.com/cinco_de_mayo.htm!
April 4 - To wrap up a wonderful first week, Don stops off at ReaderViews at http://www.readerviews.com/ReviewMilesCincodeMayo.html!

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CINCO DE MAYO VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR '08 will officially begin on April 1, 2008 and continue all month. If you would like to follow Don's tour, visit http://www.virtualbooktours.wordpress.com/ in April. Leave a comment on his blog stops and become eligible to win a free copy at the end of his tour! One lucky winner will be announced on his official tour page at http://virtualbooktoursforauthors.blogspot.com/2008/03/cinco-de-mayo-virtual-book-tour-08.html on April 30!
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Don's virtual book tour is brought to you by Pump Up Your Book Promotion Virtual Book Tours at http://www.pumpupyourbookpromotion.com/ and choreographed by Dorothy Thompson.

JOEY GONZALEZ GREAT AMERICAN VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR '08

Join children's book author Tony Robles, author of Joey Gonzalez, Great American (Kids Ahead Publishing, March '08) as he virtually tours the blogosphere in April on his first virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book Promotion!

Tony was born in Brooklyn, New York. After serving in the U.S. Navy, he pursued a career in law enforcement with the U.S. Customs Service. He and his wife currently live in the Pacific Northwest and have two children and one grandchild.

Growing up Hispanic in a tough neighborhood supposedly made Tony Robles one of the “disadvantaged,” needing special preferences in order to compete. Tony’s mom didn’t agree, and she is the inspiration behind this book.

You can visit his website at http://www.joeygonzalez.us/.

Joey Gonzalez Great American Synopsis:

“How can I become a great American if I’m not an American in the first place?”

Third-grader Joey Gonzalez dreamed of becoming a great American. His plan? Study hard and learn everything he could. Then one day, his teacher said that because he was something called a “minority,” he wasn't smart enough to make his dream come true! Still, something called “affirmative action” could help him, she said…

But as Joey taps into the strength, intelligence and courage of his Spanish ancestors, he learns that personal pride, self-reliance and a love of learning—not special preferences—are the keys to becoming a good citizen…and a great American.
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Visit Tony's first week of tour stops!
April 1 - Tony will be stopping off at Booking Mama at http://www.bookingmama.blogspot.com/!
April 2 - Mayra Calvani at Mayra's Secret Bookcase will be hosting Tony at http://www.mayrassecretbookcase.blogspot.com/!
April 3 - Book Marketing Buzz will be hosting Tony at http://www.bookmarketingbuzz.wordpress.com/!
April 4 - Breeni Books will be hosting Tony at http://www.breenibooks.blogspot.com/!
Be sure to comment to have a chance to win one of Tony's books!

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JOEY GONZALEZ GREAT AMERICAN VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR '08 will officially begin on April 1, 2008 and continue all month. If you would like to follow Tony's complete tour, visit http://www.virtualbooktours.wordpress.com/ in April. Leave a comment on his blog stops and become eligible to win a free copy at the end of his tour! One lucky winner will be announced on his tour page at http://www.virtualbooktoursforauthors.blogspot.com/ on April 30!
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Tony Robles' virtual book tour is brought to you by Pump Up Your Book Promotion Virtual Book Tours at http://www.pumpupyourbookpromotion.com/ and choreographed by Dorothy Thompson.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Book Spotlight: THE ART OF SMART THINKING by Dr. James Hardt

For over 30 years Jim Hardt, PhD has been studying the electrophysiological basis of spiritual states. He has traveled to India to study advanced Yogis, studied Zen meditators and Zen masters, and explored Christian prayer and contemplation.

Jim began studying consciousness at the University of California San Francisco Medical Center while earning a Ph.D. from Carnegie-Mellon University. He discovered the link between brain wave patterns and peak performance. And he learned how people can take charge of their brain waves: with just the right feedback mechanism, they can create joy-producing and creativity-enhancing alpha waves.

Thousands of people, from Zen masters to Green Beret commandos to scientists and students and children and parents and grandparents, have joined Biocybernaut programs to achieve spiritual growth, emotional healing and peak performance, including boosting IQ and creativity.

You can visit his website at http://www.theartofsmartthinkingbook.com/.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

How would you like to access all of your brain’s innate capacity to learn, invent, create and solve problems? Would it improve your life if you could think more clearly, access your intuition, reduce stress and anxiety, and prevent your brain from aging? We’ve all heard that we use only a tiny percentage of our brain s natural capacity. If you've ever wondered why, The Art of Smart Thinking will provide some answers and solutions.

Every experience you have is the result of certain brain waves. Unfortunately, most of us are only accessing two of our four brain waves, and the two left out, Alpha and Theta, are actually the most important for exceptional creativity and intelligence!

You can learn to produce these two types of brain waves on command, which will allow you to:

Restore your youthful brain wave patterns
Enhance your creativity, empathy and problem-solving ability
Improve your personal relationships
Reduce your feelings of stress, anxiety, anger and depression
Enhance your special skills and abilities
Achieve physical and mental peak performance states The Zone
Improve your mental clarity and memory

You can purchase this book at Amazon by clicking here.

Author Interview: Tinisha Nicole Johnson, Author of SEARCHABLE WHEREABOUTS

Tinisha N. Johnson is an author, writer and poet. Her newest book, Searchable Whereabouts, a mystery novel is due to be released Feb 1, 2008. Tinisha resides in Denver, Colorado with her husband and two children. She writes for a local urban magazine called Denver's Finest Underground. Tinisha's passion for writing began at the early age of eleven. It has always been her hobby and pass-time and at the age of twenty-one, after her son was born, eight-years ago, she took her writing seriously and began pursuing it as a career. You can learn more about Tinisha at her website: http://www.tinishanicolejohnson.com/

Welcome to The Writer's Life, Tinisha. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?

Well, I live in Denver, Colorado with my husband and two kids. And I am an only child. I’ve enjoyed writing since I was about eleven years old. English and creative writing were always my favorite classes growing up. Searchable Whereabouts is actually my fourth book, but the first to be published.

Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?
Searchable Whereabouts is a mystery novel about a woman, Rahkel Williams, who’s trying to unravel the mysterious death of her beloved uncle. However, after his death, she begins to find clues into his life that has her wondering who really was this man?

I wrote this book because I love mysteries, I’ve always loved mysteries. So I figured I’d tackle one of my own into a novel.

What kind of research was involved in writing “Searchable Whereabouts”?
Well, the story is based out of Indianapolis, Indiana. I do have some relatives there, but I don’t know the place very well, so I did have to research that. I also researched prisons, a little bit of my story involves a prison. And I also researched some crime settings and police departments.

How much input did you have into the design of your book cover?

My publisher picked my book cover and I fell in love with it.

Has it been a bumpy ride to becoming a published author or has it been pretty well smooth sailing?

It has been a very bumpy ride, because after I finally finished Searchable Whereabouts, it took about a year from then before I found a publisher. I was met with a lot of rejection letters.

For this particular book, how long did it take from the time you signed the contract to its release?

About four years.

Do you have an agent and, if so, would you mind sharing who he/is is? If not, have you ever had an agent or do you even feel it’s necessary to have one?

I don’t have an agent, but wouldn’t mind having one in the near future.

Do you plan subsequent books?
Yes, I’m working on my next book right now. It’s a suspenseful novel.

Are you a morning writer or a night writer?
Since I still work a full time job still, and have small children, I try to get the writing in whenever I can, but I do write a lot during the weekends at night, while everyone is asleep.

If money was no object, what would be the first thing you would invest in to promote your book?

The best publicist money could buy.

How important do you think self-promotion is and in what ways have you been promoting your book offline and online?

Self-promotion is extremely important. I’ve talked with authors who are with big time publishers and they still have to promote their book themselves. Publishers are limited to what they will do for you, so writing the book is just the first step. It’s an absolute must to promote your book.

Any final words of wisdom for those of us who would like to be published?

Read a lot and write everyday, even if it’s just how your day went.

Thank you for coming, Tinisha! Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book?

Yes people can buy my book at bookstores and online at Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com.
Comment on Tinisha's interview by clicking here!
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SEARCHABLE WHEREABOUTS VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR '08 will officially begin on March 1, 2008 and continue all month. If you would like to follow Tinisha's tour, visit http://www.virtualbooktours.wordpress.com/ in March. Leave a comment on her blog stops and become eligible to win a free copy at the end of her tour! One lucky winner will be announced on this blog on March 31!
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Tinisha's virtual book tour is brought to you by Pump Up Your Book Promotion Virtual Book Tours at http://www.pumpupyourbookpromotion.com/ and choreographed by Rebecca Camareno.
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Monday, March 24, 2008

Author Interview: Thomas Wade Bounds, Author of CHOICES: MY SECRET

Thomas Wade Bounds, is a businessman and the founder of Heritage Values. He lives with his wife Elsa and their two children, in Charlotte, North Carolina.
You can visit his webpage at http://www.heritagevalues.com/.

Welcome to The Writer's Life, Tom! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?

Yes, I am a proud father of 2 and married to my beautiful wife Elsa. We lived on the Island of Saipan for many years and after the 9/11 attacks moved to Charlotte where I grew up. We started a small construction business and then a few years later started Heritage Values in hopes to keep the values and heritage alive—Faith, Family, Country. I have been writing for about 2 years now.

Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?

“Choices, My Secrets” tells the compelling story of a Rachel, a teenager that lives an incredible journey during a quest to find her place as a teen. She makes choices that take her out of her realm. She is then faced with more than she bargained for. Now, pregnant and her boyfriend off at collage not returning her messages, she feels lost, alone, and scared. Searching for hope, things spin out of control as she deals with more issues while leaving out the possibility of talking with friends, family and God. She decides that abortion is best for her. See what she faces during her visit to the clinic. Does she find her true self and gain the faith, hope and courage to guide her through this roller coaster ride of choices?

I wrote this short story to help my kids and young teens and parents live a realistic journey so they could gain the experience and wisdom of this together with out having to live it for real, and to give them the 20/20 hindsight to sit down and relax without the real pressure and talk it out, set expectations of relationships, family values and possibly godly goals. Teens today make choices most parents do not dream of.

What kind of research was involved in writing “Choices, My Secrets”?

I looked at some similar experiences that I was aware of from friends and my journey through high school, Asia as a teen and young adult. I also put forth a lot of thought on how I would deal with this if it where to happen to me or one of my children.

How much input did you have into the design of your book cover?

I explained to my publisher what I wanted and they gave it to me. I love it. The cover tells the story of a confused and lost teen. That truly is a story of wisdom to share.

Has it been a bumpy ride to becoming a published author or has it been pretty well smooth sailing?

It was pretty smooth. I searched for a self publishing company that provided what I was looking for, asked several questions, and basically got what was offered, and at the time what I wanted.

For this particular book, how long did it take from the time you signed the contract to its release?

Since this is a short story it did not take that long about 3 months.

Do you have an agent and, if so, would you mind sharing who he/is is? If not, have you ever had an agent or do you even feel it’s necessary to have one?

No, I do not have an agent. I would leave that up to the author to choose what they feel works best for them, but would suggest she research the possibilities and direction one could offer.

Do you plan subsequent books?

Yes, Choices is a series for teens and parents. Its intent is to create a realistic life of trouble through the choices and consequences of a particular character to develop concerns and wisdom in the reader’s mind. I hope teens and parents will talk about those choices made by the different characters to bring up questions and answers and to develop trust, understanding, and hopefully more conversations between parents and teens, which is a good thing.

Are you a morning writer or a night writer?

I write whenever my thoughts come out. I sit down at my computer and the words will just flow from my finger tips onto the screen. I will rework it several times to develop the plot or character.

If money was no object, what would be the first thing you would invest in to promote your book?

I would give my books to public and school libraries in hopes that young teens and their parents would read them together and gain the wisdom of the life the story has created, as well as, build a closer relationship as a family.

How important do you think self-promotion is and in what ways have you been promoting your book offline and online?

Self promotion is a key. As an author that writes on subjects such as I have, you must stand up and help raise them, so to speak. I have given my book to several young teens their parents and some libraries already. On line you can find my website http://www.heritagevalues.com/ and more information at authorsden.com

Any final words of wisdom for those of us who would like to be published?

If you truly enjoy writing and want to share your thoughts with others, go for it. You will be happy that you did. Who knows, you may make it. Trust is important. Do not shy away when you are criticized, that will only strengthen you. Wisdom is only good if it is applied. You must learn first to hold wisdom.

Thank you for coming, Tom! Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book?

By all means, first of all thank you for having me on your blog. I have really enjoyed the opportunity that you have given me to share the thoughts behind my short stories to your readers. I hope they will enjoy reading them and sharing the experience and wisdom with the teens in their life.
Please visit http://www.heritagevalues.com/, xulonpress.com, amazon.com or authorsden.com, The ISBN 978-1-60477-369-9
If you would like to leave a comment, click here.
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CHOICES, MY SECRETS VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR '08 will officially begin on March 1, 2008 and continue all month. If you would like to follow Thomas' tour, visit http://www.virtualbooktours.wordpress.com/ in March. Leave a comment on his blog stops and become eligible to win a free copy at the end of his tour! One lucky winner will be announced on this blog on March 31!
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Thomas' virtual book tour is brought to you by Pump Up Your Book Promotion Virtual Book Tours at http://www.pumpupyourbookpromotion.com/ and choreographed by Cheryl Malandrinos.
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Sunday, March 23, 2008

MISTRESS OF THE REVOLUTION PROMOTIONAL BOOK VIDEO

In 1815 England, an exiled Frenchwoman, Gabrielle de Monserrat, begins a memoir of her days before and during the French Revolution. Gabrielle, the youngest daughter of a family of the impoverished nobility, recalls her journey through hardships and betrayals. Watch the promotional book video for Catherine Delors' new historical fiction novel, MISTRESS OF THE REVOLUTION at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WeJP3SaW0U!

Catherine is about to enter her final week of tours this week. Be sure to visit http://www.virtualbooktoursforauthors.wordpress.com/ and leave a comment on her tour stops to become eligible to win a copy of her blogbuster hit novel, MISTRESS OF THE REVOLUTION, available from Dutton Books.

This promotional ad is brought to you by Pump Up Your Book Promotion, an innovative public relations firm specializing in online book promotion. You can visit us at http://www.pumpupyourbookpromotion.com/.

Author Interview: Shel Horowitz, Author of GRASSROOTS MARKETING FOR AUTHORS AND PUBLISHERS

Shel Horowitz is the author of seven books--five of them on frugal, ethical, effective marketing. Most recent: Grassroots Marketing for Authors and Publishers, http://www.grassrootsmarketingforauthors.com/Principled Profit: Marketing that Puts People First, http://www.principledprofit.com/Grassroots Marketing: Getting Noticed in a Noisy World, http://www.frugalmarketing.com/The Penny-Pinching Hedonist: How to Live LIke Royalty with a Peasant's Pocket (e-book), http://www.frugalfun.com/.

Thank you for this interview, Shel. Can we begin by having you tell us when your passion for writing began?

I had two wonderful English teachers in high school. It probably started with them. I began writing journalism as a high school junior, poetry as a college student, writing for business in my 20s. I was 22 when I did my first book.

Can you tell us what your typical 'writing' day is like?

When I'm working on a book, I try to do about two hours a day, five days a week--while still keeping up with my client copywriting projects, my overflowing e-mail box, etc.

Do you write full time?

Pretty much all my activities are related to writing or speaking, but I can't sit at the computer for more than about an hour and half at a tie. Too much eyestrain and headaches. So I work in short bursts all day long.

Can you tell us a little bit about your book?

For ten years, small publishers have been urging me to do a marketing book just for them. And at first I thought it would be easy, but when I actually started working on it, I realized how much I know about book marketing and how different it is from marketing other things--easier in some ways, harder in others.

Who published your book and how has your experience with them been?

I self-published, which I've done for four of my seven books--and I also did a separate edition with Infinity Publishing, mainly so I didn't have to worry about the craziness of the bookstore system.My first two self-published books (1985 and 1995) were very much learning experiences. My third and fourth, I feel like I'm doing pretty well with the process--so much so that some of my client business is actually walking people through the process. In fact, I recently found out that a novel I produced four a client just won an award.

Can you tell us ways you are promoting your book? Have they been successful?

I'm constantly promoting. I sold out the first print run very quickly, using my own networks, a blog tour, endorsements, and some limited traditional publicity.Do you have a mentor? Many. Some that come to mind include Jay Conrad Levinson, Jack Canfield, Marcia Yudkin, and, for his copywriting ideas, Jeffrey Lant.

What future projects do you have in the works?

I'm in dialogue with a mainstream publisher right now to do another book on business ethics. And I have research folders for probably a dozen books I'd like to write.

Can you give aspiring authors words of advice towards getting published?

It's easy to become published, but it's harder to do it right. Spend time on getting the quality right: the content, the cover, the design--and make sure your book reaches an audience that has a felt need for it.

What's one thing about your life that you think is important, but nobody asks?

Why social change is so much a part of my life. Everything I do is ultimately about making the world better, it's the driving force in my life.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Author Interview: Military Historical Fiction Novelist William Hay

William Hay graduated from Carleton University in 1988 with a Degree in Law and Criminology. He moved to Kingston Ontario where he has pursued a career in Law Enforcement. Through his career William has been an active amateur writer. His short story ‘A Woman Scorned’ won Best Short Story at Kingston’s Scene of the Crime Festival in 2007 and was published in ‘Kingston Life Magazine’. ‘The Originals’ is Williams’ first novel.You can visit his website at http://www.williamhay.net/.

Welcome to The Writer's Life, Bill! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you've been writing?

Thanks for having me on the site; it’s wonderful to be here.

I attended University in Ottawa, Canada from 1984 to 1988, where I obtained a degree in Law and Criminology. Predictably, I became a Police Officer and remained in that capacity for sixteen years. I’ve made my home in Kingston Ontario, located at the mouth of the St. Lawrence on Lake Ontario, since 1988.

‘The Originals’ is my first published novel, although I’ve been writing creatively for many years. I’d written numerous stories while a Police Officer, but my schedule and the very nature of the work, seemed to suck any creativity from me. My writing suffered and nothing was ever completed. In 2004 I left the Police Department and now work as a Fire Inspector with local Fire Department. The nature of this new career has cleared my mind; I don’t have migraines and I’m home in the evenings and on weekends.

Since then, my writing has flourished. My wife purchased me a laptop computer for a Christmas present in 2004 and I’ve been writing steady ever since. I’ve completed numerous short stories, one of which won an award in the summer of 2007 at a local Writer’s Festival which is run annually. I’ve completed three novels, including ‘The Originals’ and am working on two others with plans for more.

Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?

‘The Originals’ is the story of Canadians in the First World War. Bill Dawson is a veteran of the Boer War and joins up with the newly formed Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry. The regiment is unique because it was created from private funds and accepted only veteran soldiers. At the outset of The Great War, the PPCLI was, arguably, the best trained and battle-ready battalion in the British Empire. The story progresses from the point of view of Dawson during the first year of the war where the stalemate on the western front was in its infancy.

One of my fist loves is history, in particular military history. I am a huge fan of the Shaara novels, both Jeff and Michael (God’s and Generals; The Killer Angels and The Last Full Measure from Ballantine Books); they are historical fictions about real people during the American Civil War. I am also a fan of Nigel Tranter’s novels about Scottish history. It was such novels which inspired me to write historical fiction about Canadians.

While working on a much larger, all encompassing project about Canadians in The Great War, I decided to write a shorter story, narrower in scope and topic. ‘The Originals’ is from the perspective of a fictional character who experiences the First World War serving with the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry. While learning about the PPCLI, I saw in the Regiment’s history a wonderful story. I’ve based it on actual events and actual people.

What kind of research was involved in writing "The Originals"?

Research is a vital component of an historical fiction; the very nature of the genre requires it if the author wishes to remain true and accurate to the story. The vast majority of the events and the characters in the ‘The Originals’ are based on reality. A substantial amount of research was necessary. I religiously followed the chronological order of events which the PPCLI became embroiled during the first year of the war.

I utilized the Official Regimental History among many other official documents to get details of not only the events, but the people involved. I would be remise not to make mention specifically to Stephen Newman’s books (Bellewaerde Publishing-Canada) regarding the PPCLI. I found his books particularly helpful in learning not only about the individual soldiers but how and when they were wounded or killed.

How much input did you have into the design of your book cover?

Interestingly enough, I offered my input within the submission itself. My publisher, in his contract offer, agreed with my cover idea. It was a tremendous vote of confidence and immediately gave me a feeling a being completely involved in the process. The cover of ‘The Originals’ is actually a real painting by W. R. Woolen’s “Canadians at Ypres”. The publishing company purchased the rights from the Canadian War Museum to use it as a cover. The painting, in part, was my inspiration for some of the characters of my novel.

Has it been a bumpy ride to becoming a published author or has it been pretty well smooth sailing?

My story isn’t the traditional story we general hear about from authors, but I had few struggles in being published and found the road a smooth one. In fact I can say it has been a pleasant experience. For ‘The Originals’, I sent out only one submission before my manuscript was accepted. I’m certain the process was smooth because I decided to research publishers before sending off a submission.

During this research stage, I read many blogs and websites providing excellent advice on being published. As many of you are no doubt aware, there are plenty of people happy to offer their opinions and experiences. These insights and opinions are easily accessible via the internet. One interesting plan of attack I read about was to send out at least fifty submissions in order to reach some magical plateau of rejection slips before acceptance was likely. I found this strategy both depressing and outrageous. Another website I found a much better approach. Instead of anticipating twenty, thirty or even fifty rejection slips, do your homework and research the publishing company or agent themselves; find out what they have published and if there is some expertise in a particular genre.

I followed this approach and found a publisher specializing in historical fiction. This narrowed my scope and I feel was the reason why the ride was not a bumpy one in becoming a published author.

For this particular book, how long did it take from the time you signed the contract to its release?

I received confirmation that my Publisher wanted to put my novel into print and signed the contract in mid-September. I received my first copies the last week of October. I’m not sure it that is relatively fast or not. At the time, of course, while waiting for the finished product it seemed an eternity at times!

Do you have an agent and, if so, would you mind sharing who he/is is? If not, have you ever had an agent or do you even feel it's necessary to have one?

No, I don’t have an agent. As I have little aptitude in marketing, it would seem an ideal situation for me to have some form of representation. The difficultly which has befallen this business is not news to anyone, I’m sure, that being: you often can’t get published without an agent and you can’t get an agent unless you’ve been published. I would argue it’s not necessary to have an agent, but I feel without one, you have to develop the fortitude, imagination and connections an agent already has in order to market your product. Some of us have that skill already and most importantly, the time. Some of us don’t. I for one, hope to retain an agent in the future as my salesmanship is not stellar.

It’s an oddity, but I found it much easier to get published than to get an agent!

Do you plan subsequent books?

At present I have submitted another novel for consideration to a publisher, the story is a much larger and long term project about the Canadian Expeditionary Force in the First World War. It is also an historical fiction about real men and women who had an important part to play in the CEF’s development through the war. It will be part one of a trilogy. I also am completing a novel about two Canadian brothers who participate in the Spanish Civil War.

All my projects can be viewed at my website.

Are you a morning writer or a night writer?

Morning is best. It’s like I rebooted overnight and the fog and congestion resulting from my day has cleared. I set my clock for 5:15am, (did I just hear groans across the web?), shower, feed and water my host of pets waiting for me at the bottom of my stairs and finally have my first tea of the day. As I’m writing this, it’s 6:30am, my tea is getting cold and my dogs are at my feet looking for equal attention. It’s my favorite time of day!

If money was no object, what would be the first thing you would invest in to promote your book?

I have read, regardless on how much work is involved and how costly it can become, that public presentations is the best way of getting your book on the market. I have done several public presentations for ‘The Originals’ and each time half my crowd of listeners purchase a copy, but if one does the research, one could easily argue it’s not cost effective. Hotels, car rentals, sustenance and what-have-you, can add up quickly and in some cases a ‘real book tour’ might be lucky just to break even.

If money was no object, I’d like to spend time in preparing, organizing and attending a ‘reality book tour’ to supplement my ‘virtual book tour’.

How important do you think self-promotion is and in what ways have you been promoting your book offline and online?

Promoting my book offline has been difficult as I work full time. I’ve been around to my local bookstores and after staring into lifeless, blank faces walked out. In Canada, we are run by essentially one major bookstore line. Although they have four or five different names, the stores are part of a single chain. Independent bookstores are rare and gradually becoming a thing of the past.

The tragedy is, in general, the majority of books shelved by these book stores, have to be from large distributing centers and from large publishing companies. As I alluded to earlier, getting your book picked up by an agent requires you to have been published, but at present it’s virtually impossible to be picked up by one of these, so-called, large publishing companies without an agent. Hence, getting your books onto the shelves in Canada’s largest bookstore chain is also becoming virtually impossible.

It's a frustrating reality for new authors. I have done what I can offline, but felt rather disillusioned by the lack of support in that arena. I’ve opted for the more cost-effective and less hassling online marketing. I’ve used Face book and Google Ads as my main starting point for online promotion and as a result have been getting occasional hits on my website. I have also hope to generate further interest in my website and my novel through the use of this ‘virtual book tour’. Thus far it’s been a far more pleasant experience than my offline attempts!

Any final words of wisdom for those of us who would like to be published?

Stay at it. At times that means being tough on yourself. Most of us can write, certainly, but the work necessary to complete an entire novel goes well beyond just the ability of putting a sentence and a paragraph together. Remain focused on your goal and dedicated to your purpose. Getting that first novel completed will be one of the most satisfying moments you’ll ever have.

Thank you for coming, William! Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book?

The Originals’ is available at Amazon (.com and .ca); Barnes and Noble; Borders. Type ‘William Hay The Originals’ and you’ll be taken directly to the correct page. The bookstore of Chronicler Publishing (.com) has my novel for sale as well as an assortment of others. Anyone interested can also visit my website and find a direct link to the web-pages location to purchase a copy.

Please visit my website: http://www.williamhay.net/ for ‘directions’ as well as details on my other projects presently in the works.

Take care and I look forward to seeing you in print!

To leave a comment, click here.

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THE ORIGINALS VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR '08 will officially begin on March 1, 2008 and continue all month. If you would like to follow William's tour, visit http://www.virtualbooktours.wordpress.com/ in March. Leave a comment on his blog stops and become eligible to win a free copy at the end of his tour! One lucky winner will be announced on this blog on March 31!
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William's virtual book tour is brought to you by Pump Up Your Book Promotion Virtual Book Tours at http://www.pumpupyourbookpromotion.com/ and choreographed by Jean Lauzier.

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

BIRTHING THE ELEPHANT VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR '08

Join Karin Abarbanel, author of the business/entrepreneurship book, Birthing the Elephant (Ten Speed Press, March '08), as she virtually tours the blogosphere in April on her first virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book Promotion!

Karin Abarbanel is an entrepreneur, marketing consultant, and expert on start-up strategies for women. In addition to her new book, Birthing the Elephant, she is the author of How to Succeed on Your Own and 3 other how-to guides. She served as the spokesperson for Avon’s “Corporation to Cottage” initiative.

A frequent guest on broadcast/cable TV and radio, Karin has appeared on ABC TV’s “Good Morning America,” CNBC, and WCBS, among others. She has been a featured speaker at a
wide range of organizations and universities. She received her MA from Columbia University and her BA from Middlebury College.

She lives in Montclair, NJ with her husband, son, and her dog, Dr. Watson, who holds a PhD in Snackology.

You can visit her website at http://www.birthingtheelephant.com/.

Birthing the Elephant Synopsis:

Every day, More than 7,000 women put their dreams on the line by launching new ventures – that’s 200,000 women a month and more than 2.5 million a year. Surviving the ups and downs of entrepreneurship isn’t easy! While other guides focus on the 3Ms – money, marketing, and management, only Birthing the Elephant focuses on the 4th M: motivation, which lies at the heart of small-business success.

Birthing the Elephant helps women master the “small-business mind game” – and mobilize the emotional resilience to reshape their identities and overcome obstacles on the path to success. Step by step, it gives women a road map to the first 22 months of their venture, showing them how to:

• make the shift from employee to entrepreneur
• anticipate problems and overcome obstacles
• manage the 4 stages of the launch cycle
• avoid 10 costly mistakes that many women make

Birthing the Elephant is the What to Expect When You’re Expecting for aspiring women entrepreneurs. It acts as an emotional GPS for their start-ups, helping them stay
motivated, focused, and on track during their launch stage.

Packed with inspirational frontline advice from cosmetics company founder Bobbi Brown, maternity-wear pioneer Liz Lange and 20+ other entrepreneurs and experts -- Birthing the Elephant also offers quick tips, checklists, action steps, and a helpful resource guide. This inspiring action guides gives women the support they need to deliver on their dreams.

Birthing the Elephant’s target audiences range from younger women who are opting out of corporate life early in their careers to mothers seeking more flexibility to midlife career changers who are reinventing themselves by launching new businesses.

Read a Review!

Publishers Weekly
“The industry’s leading news magazine”

Birthing the Elephant: The Woman’s Go-for-it! Guide to Overcoming the Big Challenges of Launching a Business
by Karin Abarbanel and Bruce Freeman. Ten Speed, $15.95 paper (256p) ISBN 978-1-58008-887-9

Starting your own business is tough, but learning to think like an entrepreneur is half the battle, say small-business consultants Abarbanel and Freeman. Part portable success coach, part step-by-step guide through the life cycle of a small-business launch, the book presents real-life stories—from the famous, such as makeup entrepreneur Bobbi Brown and stylish maternity-wear pioneer Liz Lange, to startups in the worlds of baking, filmmaking and high tech software. A great deal of space is given to tools for developing the emotional mind frame to succeed outside the comfort of the traditional workplace, and the authors devote particular attention to commitment, courage, persistence and other traits. Later chapters delve into the nitty-gritty of asset assessment, money management, support systems, success strategies and common pitfalls.
This information is backed up with handy chapter-closing quick tips, checklists, action steps, real-life examples and a helpful resource guide. With the number of women-owned businesses growing in the U.S…the audience for this positive, cheerful, practical book should be substantial. (Mar.) Review published: January 7, 2008

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BIRTHING THE ELEPHANT VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR '08 will officially begin on April 1, 2008 and continue all month. If you would like to follow Karin's tour, visit http://www.virtualbooktours.wordpress.com/ in April. Leave a comment on her blog stops and become eligible to win a free copy at the end of her tour! One lucky winner will be announced on this blog on April 30!
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Karin's virtual book tour is brought to you by Pump Up Your Book Promotion Virtual Book Tours at http://www.pumpupyourbookpromotion.com/ and choreographed by Dorothy Thompson.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Author Interview: Linda Kay Silva, Author of ACROSS TIME

Welcome to The Writer's Life, Linda. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?

My dream was to become a published author by the time I turned 30. When I succeeded, and I felt that rush from holding my first novel in my hands, I knew I was hooked. I have been writing almost every day for 20 years, and I need to write almost as much as I need to breathe.

When I am not writing (which is seldom), I teach various college English courses from American Minority Literature to Introduction to Fiction. Living with my incredibly patient partner of 10 years, I take time out to play with Lucy Lui, my cockapoo.

Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?

We live in an age when the dominant religion of our country is beginning to frighten even its followers. In a time when 10 year olds are graduating from med school, 5 year olds are playing Bach, and dozens of people have come out of comas speaking a foreign language fluently, the “newer” religion’s labeling of “miraculous” has left us wanting. Why is every inexplicable thing a miracle? Is it a miracle that we’ve managed to go to the moon? No, but it would have been miraculous in DaVinci’s time.

Time. It truly is the final frontier. We have not managed to harness it, transform it, or really even understand it. Because we can’t see the other side, there is an assumption made by western religions that the other side is something heavenly; a place where “good” souls go and “bad” souls don’t. People live their incredibly short time on this planet focused on getting to this place, regardless of whether it is heaven, nirvana, or paradise. Instead of living this life to the fullest, they either look beyond where they are, or struggle to drag where they were into the here and now.

The truth is we cannot understand where we’re going until we know, and remember where we’ve been. There’s a reason why a 10 year old child prodigy has the ability to grasp courses as difficult as med school courses and it has nothing to do with miracles or genetics; it has to do with memory…soul memories.

The same folks who believe in souls and heaven are often the first to discount the notion that souls have memories…residual memories. This accounts for things like déjà vu, love at first sight, and unexplainable phobias. Ask almost anyone you know if they have a phobia they don’t know the origin of, and 9 times out 10, they will tell you about something that frightens them and they have no idea why. How can this be? How can I be so afraid of heights, when nothing ever bad ever happened to me when I was really up high?

The answer? Nothing bad in this life.

How can a ten year old who is not developmentally ready for anything greater than long division go to med school? She isn’t just brilliant. She remembers more about past knowledge that the rest of us do. She is capable of accessing past knowledge, experience, and memories that enable her to do things far outside the realm of other children. We all have those memories, but we pass them off as something else for fear of being labeled crazy? We can’t explain how it is we know something. We can’t explain away the time we met someone for the first time and after ten minutes, felt like we’d known them our whole lives. We can’t explain the almost tangible feeling of déjà vu. We can’t even explain why some of our dreams just feel so real.

They feel real because once upon a time, they were. My novel is about a young woman whose past self calls her for help, and she must rise to the challenge of flinging her soul across time in order to help.

What kind of research was involved in writing “Across Time”?

I did a little research about time and the time elements for the book, but since it’s the one area we know so little about, I decided to bend what we do know to fit my story. I had to do some research on the Druids and what happened to them on the island, but for the most part, there is A LOT of wiggle room when dealing with the paranormal or supernatural.

How much input did you have into the design of your book cover?

Normally, authors have very little say, but Spinsters was incredibly generous in the amount of input. I wanted a pocket watch and a few other smaller details, and the artist’s rendition of the story couldn’t have been any better. I am most pleased with this cover.

Has it been a bumpy ride to becoming a published author or has it been pretty well smooth sailing?

Bumpy? Absolutely! I have been published by 4 different publishers now…the first three went under when Borders and Barnes and Nobles started gobbling up the independent booksellers. Those small, wonderful little book stores were faithful to small presses, but in the end, the big box chain won out (for the most part) and we saw a dwindling of the stores that regularly carried our work. After the third publisher went out, I tried to get an agent, but found that to be more difficult than getting a publisher. On one hand, I’d love to have an agent so I can take my other series (about a paranormal woman) to a larger publisher so I can make some money at this, and on the other, I want to help Spinsters grow into a larger publisher so I can make money with them. I don’t want to make it sound like it’s all about money, but the truth is, we all dream about making a LIVING at our writing…and to do that, one must MAKE money. This IS a business after all.

For this particular book, how long did it take from the time you signed the contract to its release?

About a year. I had the pleasure of working with Katherine Forrest as my editor, and she is fast and thorough, so the novel didn’t sit around neglected.

Do you have an agent and, if so, would you mind sharing who he/is is? If not, have you ever had an agent or do you even feel it’s necessary to have one?

See above. I don’t, but I want one for other reasons.

Do you plan subsequent books?

I have the first 5 of this series completed and hope that Spinsters puts out the next two in 2009. Readers of series want to see their favorite characters more often than one book a year. I have a second series about an empath who is an investigative reporter, and so far, I’ve finished 4 in that series.

Are you a morning writer or a night writer?

Both. I write whenever I have a spare moment. I am no diva who has to have all the stars aligned in order to write. I can write while watching a movie, on the deck of cruise ship, at the airport, whenever. I have a Sherlock Holmes style library that I love and work in a lot (I teach online college courses), but I can (and do) write anywhere and everywhere. What makes that possible is that I write my first draft longhand with a fountain pen. My trusty pens go with me everywhere I go. I’ve even written while waiting at the doctor’s office. If you want to write…you’ll do it. You won’t FIND the time to write…you’ll CREATE the time.

If money was no object, what would be the first thing you would invest in to promote your book?

That’s a GREAT question! A publicist. I am wise enough to know when to hire people who do something far better than I ever could. I want an expert promoting my book; someone whose sole job is to get me out there.

How important do you think self-promotion is and in what ways have you been promoting your book offline and online?

Self promotion is HUGE. You have to THINK and ACT like this is a business! Once the initial thrill of holding your book in your hand wears off, it’s time to put on a different hat…it’s time to help the people who MADE your dreams come true make some money and want your next book. To that end, you need to get into the business of promoting. I have free business cards made up at www.vistaprint.com , where the front of the card is my book cover and the back has all my titles and additional info. I carry these everywhere I go and leave them everywhere I go. Hey, 500 business cards for the price of shipping is worth it. I also made bookmarks, which all of my friends, family, and colleagues all have. And speaking of those folks, you train them to talk about your book, to send out announcements to ALL of their friends, and then things snowball. I have been promoting myself online through my blog: http://lindakaysilva.livejournal.com and my web site, where people can buy my books www.lindakaysilva.com. I am also doing this virtual book tour, which has been the BEST business investment I’ve made. Anyone interested in getting help promoting their work online ought to try it out! http://www.pumpupyourbookpromotiom.com/

Any final words of wisdom for those of us who would like to be published?

1) Don't give up.
2) Stop reading all those how to write books. If you want to write, DO IT.
3) Don't talk about what you're writing, don't read about writing, don't dream about writing. Put the pen to the paper or the fingers to the keyboard and do it. Just as one step takes you on a trip around the world, one page gets you closer to completing a novel.
4) Take that step.
5) If you haven’t read The Secret or watched the video, I suggest doing that as the ONLY extra piece of motivation…then get back to writing.

Thank you for coming, Linda! Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book?

My blog: http://lindakaysilva.livejournal.com/
My web site, where people can buy my books http://www.lindakaysilva.com/.
My publisher: http://www.spinsters-ink.com/
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ACROSS TIME VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR '08 will officially begin on March 1, 2008 and continue all month. If you would like to follow Linda Kaye's tour, visit http://www.virtualbooktours.wordpress.com/ in April. Leave a comment on her blog stops and become eligible to win a free copy at the end of her tour! One lucky winner will be announced at the above mentioned blog on March 31!
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Linda Kaye's virtual book tour is brought to you by Pump Up Your Book Promotion Virtual Book Tours at http://www.pumpupyourbookpromotion.com/ and choreographed by Dorothy Thompson.
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If you would like to leave a comment, click here.

Blogging Betty Boomer Offers Blogging Tips

This is just too hilarious not to pass on. Blogging Betty Boomer offers blogging tips..she is adorable..you want to hug her! Click here!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Author Interview: Military Historical Fiction Novelist William Hay

William Hay graduated from Carleton University in 1988 with a Degree in Law and Criminology. He moved to Kingston Ontario where he has pursued a career in Law Enforcement. Through his career William has been an active amateur writer. His short story ‘A Woman Scorned’ won Best Short Story at Kingston’s Scene of the Crime Festival in 2007 and was published in ‘Kingston Life Magazine’. ‘The Originals’ is Williams’ first novel.

You can visit his website at http://www.williamhay.net/.

Welcome to The Writer's Life, William. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you've been writing?

Thanks for having me on the site; it’s wonderful to be here.

I attended University in Ottawa, Canada from 1984 to 1988, where I obtained a degree in Law and Criminology. Predictably, I became a Police Officer and remained in that capacity for sixteen years. I’ve made my home in Kingston Ontario, located at the mouth of the St. Lawrence on Lake Ontario, since 1988.

‘The Originals’ is my first published novel, although I’ve been writing creatively for many years. I’d written numerous stories while a Police Officer, but my schedule and the very nature of the work, seemed to suck any creativity from me. My writing suffered and nothing was ever completed. In 2004 I left the Police Department and now work as a Fire Inspector with local Fire Department. The nature of this new career has cleared my mind; I don’t have migraines and I’m home in the evenings and on weekends.

Since then, my writing has flourished. My wife purchased me a laptop computer for a Christmas present in 2004 and I’ve been writing steady ever since. I’ve completed numerous short stories, one of which won an award in the summer of 2007 at a local Writer’s Festival which is run annually. I’ve completed three novels, including ‘The Originals’ and am working on two others with plans for more.

Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?

‘The Originals’ is the story of Canadians in the First World War. Bill Dawson is a veteran of the Boer War and joins up with the newly formed Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry. The regiment is unique because it was created from private funds and accepted only veteran soldiers. At the outset of The Great War, the PPCLI was, arguably, the best trained and battle-ready battalion in the British Empire. The story progresses from the point of view of Dawson during the first year of the war where the stalemate on the western front was in its infancy.

One of my fist loves is history, in particular military history. I am a huge fan of the Shaara novels, both Jeff and Michael (God’s and Generals; The Killer Angels and The Last Full Measure from Ballantine Books); they are historical fictions about real people during the American Civil War. I am also a fan of Nigel Tranter’s novels about Scottish history. It was such novels which inspired me to write historical fiction about Canadians.

While working on a much larger, all encompassing project about Canadians in The Great War, I decided to write a shorter story, narrower in scope and topic. ‘The Originals’ is from the perspective of a fictional character who experiences the First World War serving with the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry. While learning about the PPCLI, I saw in the Regiment’s history a wonderful story. I’ve based it on actual events and actual people.

What kind of research was involved in writing "The Originals"?

Research is a vital component of an historical fiction; the very nature of the genre requires it if the author wishes to remain true and accurate to the story. The vast majority of the events and the characters in the ‘The Originals’ are based on reality. A substantial amount of research was necessary. I religiously followed the chronological order of events which the PPCLI became embroiled during the first year of the war.

I utilized the Official Regimental History among many other official documents to get details of not only the events, but the people involved. I would be remise not to make mention specifically to Stephen Newman’s books (Bellewaerde Publishing-Canada) regarding the PPCLI. I found his books particularly helpful in learning not only about the individual soldiers but how and when they were wounded or killed.

How much input did you have into the design of your book cover?

Interestingly enough, I offered my input within the submission itself. My publisher, in his contract offer, agreed with my cover idea. It was a tremendous vote of confidence and immediately gave me a feeling a being completely involved in the process. The cover of ‘The Originals’ is actually a real painting by W. R. Woolen’s “Canadians at Ypres”. The publishing company purchased the rights from the Canadian War Museum to use it as a cover. The painting, in part, was my inspiration for some of the characters of my novel.

Has it been a bumpy ride to becoming a published author or has it been pretty well smooth sailing?

My story isn’t the traditional story we general hear about from authors, but I had few struggles in being published and found the road a smooth one. In fact I can say it has been a pleasant experience. For ‘The Originals’, I sent out only one submission before my manuscript was accepted. I’m certain the process was smooth because I decided to research publishers before sending off a submission.

During this research stage, I read many blogs and websites providing excellent advice on being published. As many of you are no doubt aware, there are plenty of people happy to offer their opinions and experiences. These insights and opinions are easily accessible via the internet. One interesting plan of attack I read about was to send out at least fifty submissions in order to reach some magical plateau of rejection slips before acceptance was likely. I found this strategy both depressing and outrageous. Another website I found a much better approach. Instead of anticipating twenty, thirty or even fifty rejection slips, do your homework and research the publishing company or agent themselves; find out what they have published and if there is some expertise in a particular genre.

I followed this approach and found a publisher specializing in historical fiction. This narrowed my scope and I feel was the reason why the ride was not a bumpy one in becoming a published author.

For this particular book, how long did it take from the time you signed the contract to its release?

I received confirmation that my Publisher wanted to put my novel into print and signed the contract in mid-September. I received my first copies the last week of October. I’m not sure it that is relatively fast or not. At the time, of course, while waiting for the finished product it seemed an eternity at times!

Do you have an agent and, if so, would you mind sharing who he/is is? If not, have you ever had an agent or do you even feel it's necessary to have one?

No, I don’t have an agent. As I have little aptitude in marketing, it would seem an ideal situation for me to have some form of representation. The difficultly which has befallen this business is not news to anyone, I’m sure, that being: you often can’t get published without an agent and you can’t get an agent unless you’ve been published. I would argue it’s not necessary to have an agent, but I feel without one, you have to develop the fortitude, imagination and connections an agent already has in order to market your product. Some of us have that skill already and most importantly, the time. Some of us don’t. I for one, hope to retain an agent in the future as my salesmanship is not stellar.

It’s an oddity, but I found it much easier to get published than to get an agent!

Do you plan subsequent books?

At present I have submitted another novel for consideration to a publisher, the story is a much larger and long term project about the Canadian Expeditionary Force in the First World War. It is also an historical fiction about real men and women who had an important part to play in the CEF’s development through the war. It will be part one of a trilogy. I also am completing a novel about two Canadian brothers who participate in the Spanish Civil War.

All my projects can be viewed at my website.

Are you a morning writer or a night writer?

Morning is best. It’s like I rebooted overnight and the fog and congestion resulting from my day has cleared. I set my clock for 5:15am, (did I just hear groans across the web?), shower, feed and water my host of pets waiting for me at the bottom of my stairs and finally have my first tea of the day. As I’m writing this, it’s 6:30am, my tea is getting cold and my dogs are at my feet looking for equal attention. It’s my favorite time of day!

If money was no object, what would be the first thing you would invest in to promote your book?

I have read, regardless on how much work is involved and how costly it can become, that public presentations is the best way of getting your book on the market. I have done several public presentations for ‘The Originals’ and each time half my crowd of listeners purchase a copy, but if one does the research, one could easily argue it’s not cost effective. Hotels, car rentals, sustenance and what-have-you, can add up quickly and in some cases a ‘real book tour’ might be lucky just to break even.

If money was no object, I’d like to spend time in preparing, organizing and attending a ‘reality book tour’ to supplement my ‘virtual book tour’.

How important do you think self-promotion is and in what ways have you been promoting your book offline and online?

Promoting my book offline has been difficult as I work full time. I’ve been around to my local bookstores and after staring into lifeless, blank faces walked out. In Canada, we are run by essentially one major bookstore line. Although they have four or five different names, the stores are part of a single chain. Independent bookstores are rare and gradually becoming a thing of the past.

The tragedy is, in general, the majority of books shelved by these book stores, have to be from large distributing centers and from large publishing companies. As I alluded to earlier, getting your book picked up by an agent requires you to have been published, but at present it’s virtually impossible to be picked up by one of these, so-called, large publishing companies without an agent. Hence, getting your books onto the shelves in Canada’s largest bookstore chain is also becoming virtually impossible.

It's a frustrating reality for new authors. I have done what I can offline, but felt rather disillusioned by the lack of support in that arena. I’ve opted for the more cost-effective and less hassling online marketing. I’ve used Face book and Google Ads as my main starting point for online promotion and as a result have been getting occasional hits on my website. I have also hope to generate further interest in my website and my novel through the use of this ‘virtual book tour’. Thus far it’s been a far more pleasant experience than my offline attempts!

Any final words of wisdom for those of us who would like to be published?

Stay at it. At times that means being tough on yourself. Most of us can write, certainly, but the work necessary to complete an entire novel goes well beyond just the ability of putting a sentence and a paragraph together. Remain focused on your goal and dedicated to your purpose. Getting that first novel completed will be one of the most satisfying moments you’ll ever have.

Thank you for coming, William. Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book?

‘The Originals’ is available at Amazon (.com and .ca); Barnes and Noble; Borders. Type ‘William Hay The Originals’ and you’ll be taken directly to the correct page. The bookstore of Chronicler Publishing (.com) has my novel for sale as well as an assortment of others. Anyone interested can also visit my website and find a direct link to the web-pages location to purchase a copy.

Please visit my website: http://www.williamhay.net/ for ‘directions’ as well as details on my other projects presently in the works.

Take care and I look forward to seeing you in print!

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THE ORIGINALS VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR '08 will officially begin on March 1, 2008 and continue all month. If you would like to follow William's tour, visit http://www.virtualbooktours.wordpress.com/ in March. Leave a comment on his blog stops and become eligible to win a free copy at the end of his tour! One lucky winner will be announced on this blog on March 31!
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William's virtual book tour is brought to you by Pump Up Your Book Promotion Virtual Book Tours at http://www.pumpupyourbookpromotion.com/ and choreographed by Jean Lauzier.
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If you would like to comment on this interview, click here.

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