When All Balls Drop by Heidi Siefkas – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Heidi will be awarding an autographed copy of When All Balls Drop to five randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour (US ONLY). A Grand Prize of a $50 Amazon/BN GC will be awarded to one randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

The true story of a survivor

who through losing everything,

redefined having it all

Heidi Siefkas was a happily married, globetrotting professional who seemingly “had it all”—until a tree limb in New York’s Hudson River Valley struck her down, breaking her neck and leaving her unconscious. Suddenly, life as she knew it stopped. She lost her independence. She lost her career. She watched her marriage disintegrate as she confronted a trail of devastating lies about her husband’s double life.

She had lost all that mattered, but she was a survivor. She fought to restore her health, repair her broken heart, and rebuild herself. Along the way, she gained clarity about her core values, ultimately coming to a deeper understanding of what it means to have it all.

Through down-to-earth, short vignettes, When All Balls Drop shows us how it’s possible to “look up” in spite of pain, deceit, and loss. Heidi’s memoir–rich with hope and humor, inspires anyone who’s had to confront tragedy and reassess their life in the wake of life-altering events.

Enjoy an excerpt:

My First Visitors

While transitioning from morphine to pain pills, I became acquainted with the nurses on the fifth floor. Every four hours one of them would come, which meant more pain pills and a little company to break up my counting the holes in the ceiling tiles. Granted, some nurses were better than others; I noted a dramatic difference between the demeanors of the daytime nurses versus the graveyard shifters. Maybe the daytime shift conversations were all an act—“Honey, darling, sweetie, I know”—because I had visitors, witnesses to their behaviors. However, the night crew came in like ghosts: pop in, give meds, check vitals, and pop out to go back to texting or watching the TV until passing the patient baton to the relieving nurse.

Regardless of shift, not one of them exuded the compassion I expected from a nurse. Between the equipment provider with his in-your-face butt crack and the revolving door of nurses and specialists who failed to respond promptly to my call button due to gossiping or texting, I began to believe the term health care professional was an oxymoron.
About the Author:

Heidi Siefkas is an author and adventurer. Originally from small-town Wisconsin, she lives in Kauai and also calls the Midwest and South Florida home. Heidi is currently crafting a sequel to this memoir, embracing both her wanderlust and love of writing by documenting her many travels. You can connect with Heidi at www.heidisiefkas.com, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

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Background of my book: Relationship: Notes on Love, Mutual Respect, Boundaries, Marriage, and Divorce by A. William Benitez – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $50 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Background of my book: Relationship: Notes on Love, Mutual Respect, Boundaries, Marriage, and Divorce

I first got the idea for this book about fifteen years ago when my wife Barbara and I were invited to speak about our relationship at the meditation group of which we were members. We had been in the group for some time and some of the members were interested in how we managed to get on so well. The presentation was well received and the response was the seed for this book.

When I told Barbara my idea and she was surprised and cautioned me by saying that she wouldn’t dare write such a book because it was such a varied topic with so many nuances. Since she is obviously a better writer, that caused me to hesitate for a while but then I jumped in.

Over the past fifteen years I made a few attempts to get this book written but was never satisfied with the results and put it aside each time. Early this year, for some unknown reason, I felt ready to tackle this huge topic and jumped in again. When I finished the first draft Barbara edited it and liked it except for the organization and I spent another month working on that.

During that time it became clear that I had to focus only on the areas of relationship I considered critical to a happy and healthy relationship. That’s when the title came to me because it was notes on those aspects of relationship. At that point I felt good about the book and I sent the final draft to several people whose opinion I value. The response was positive and their comments appear at the front of the book. I don’t see myself as an expert on relationship but I definitely have a lot to share that may be helpful to others.

Relationship: Notes on Love, Mutual Respect, Boundaries, Marriage, and Divorce contains ten chapters including What is Love, What is A Good Relationship, Fostering and Nurturing Relationships, Harming Relationships, Mutual Respect, Boundaries, Marriage, Breakups and Divorce, Helpful Tips, Final Thoughts, plus a Preface and an Introduction.

The first chapter, What is Love, was the most difficult because I felt from the beginning that establishing a definition for love was important to the book and that seemed like an impossible task for a while. I could easily state what love isn’t but not what it is. I finally came up with a definition that I was comfortable to use as part of the book.

This book definitely doesn’t have all the answers for how to have a happy and healthy relationship and I certainly don’t see myself as an expert on the topic but I do have a lot to share that may be helpful to others. I hope readers find it of real value.

MEDIA KIT FrontCoverFullWhen I decided to write this book on relationship, my wife Barbara was surprised and cautioned me by saying that she would not dare write such a book because it was such a varied topic with so many nuances. That scared me because she is certainly more qualified to write about relationship than I am. I hesitated for a while but then I jumped in.

I have written about relationship before but was not satisfied with the results but now, for some unknown reason, I felt ready to tackle this huge topic and feel good about this book. I don’t see myself as an expert on relationship but I definitely have a lot to share that may be helpful to others.

The book contains ten chapters including What is Love, What is A Good Relationship, Fostering and Nurturing Relationships, Harming Relationships, Mutual Respect, Boundaries, Marriage, Breakups and Divorce, Helpful Tips, Final Thoughts, plus a Preface and an Introduction.

About the AuthorI spent most of my adult life self-employed after being born into the construction business. I worked with my father and then spent more than ten years as a general contractor, building homes and commercial buildings in Tampa, Florida.

For more than twelve years, I worked as a government official running housing related programs for the City of Tampa and then operated a publishing and consulting business on housing rehabilitation. During this time, I testified on this subject before the Housing Sub Committee of the U.S. Congress.

For several years, I operated an active woodworking business in Tampa, Florida and then in Austin, Texas. My cabinets, furniture, and carvings can be found in private homes, businesses, churches, and public buildings in both cities.

In 1996, I began working for the Hyatt Regency in Austin, Texas and am now the IT Manager.

In 2007 I established a new writing and publishing business called Positive Imaging, LLC and now write and publish how to books.

My first marriage ended after 17 years and I remained single for 14 years before marrying Barbara. We have been married over twenty-three years and share a happy and healthy relationship. We now live in Austin, Texas.

I learned a great deal from my first marriage and other relationships. However, my years with Barbara have been my most valuable learning and growing experience and definitely the happiest years of my life.

All the information in this book is based on my first-hand experiences, a small amount of research, and discussions with other couples. I sincerely hope that you will find it of real value in your own relationships. If you have any questions or comments, please contact me at:


Buy the book at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, or the author’s website.


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Anger: How to Control It So It Won’t Control You by Dr. Tiffany Brown – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Dr. Brown will be awarding an ebook copy of Anger: How to Control It So It Won’t Control You to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Everyone has experienced it at least once in their life. Some have experienced it at least every day.

I have traveled all over the world and have seen it in every place. I have struggled with it as well. It’s a family problem for generations. It can be your greatest motivator or worst enemy.

Anger. Anger is defined by the Webster Dictionary as a strong feeling of displeasure and belligerence aroused by a wrong; wrath; ire.

I will show you not only how to control your anger from a Christian perspective but also have manage it until it motivates you; not hinders you. Get Ready. Anger is nothing more than manifestation of fear. Once you eliminate fear, the anger will be gone. Become Fearless.

Read an excerpt:

Section 2 – What is Fear and its connection to anger?

Fear is defined as a perceived threat of some type. It can be emotional or physical. When you
feel that you’re in some form of danger. This activates your fight or flight response. Most animals respond to threat by either fighting or fleeing. However, we don’t always have the option to fight what threatens us. Instead, we have anger. Words are the civilized way that we get to fight threat.

Some of my biggest blowups often involved a fear of being alone. When I have depended on
people to reciprocate support for me on various levels, (new venue, in a relationship, or just life) they have disappointed me. I have never felt more rage in my life. It wasn’t the disappointment that I was feeling or the feeling of being used. It was the thought that all my hard work wasn’t good enough. I was unworthy, not loved, and alone.

Anger is just a manifestation of fear. For some people, when you are fearful of something, the first response that comes up is usually anger. Anger is a mask of fear.

I have learned that despite it all, I must be able to rely on myself and God. People, situations, and organization will fail you time and time again. When God is with you, nothing is against you.

You can do all in Christ that strengthens us (which is my current Church’s motto).

Through my personal evolution of how to handle my anger, I have become fearless. I think before I move, I think instead of becoming angry. I am also slow to anger. I have now begun to think about the motivations behind people’s actions. Sometimes, the only answer is indifference. Never fight anger with anger. It causes long reaching effects in ways you cannot even possibly imagine.

Fear is nothing more than an illusion of a possible threat. If you can control your response to your fears, then the anger will melt away.

About the Author:

Dr. Tiffany Brown is a native of Atlanta has taken great pride in her education and strives to continue broadening her knowledge. Graduating with a degree in Political Science from the prestigious Spelman College in 2001, a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Clark Atlanta in 2004 and also a Doctorate in Public Policy from Walden University in 2009, she earned these achievements through determination and the desire to achieve her goals. She has held positions with the United States Government Accountability Office, Fulton County District Attorney’s Office, Georgia Law Center for the Homeless, Georgia Conservation Voters, Supreme Court of Georgia, Equifax, Coca-Cola Enterprises, and Atlanta Bar Association. Upon Graduation from Walden University, she has truly impacted change as an academic and practitioner. She is former 2009 Write-in Atlanta Mayoral Candidate and owner of 3 companies: Tribute Contracting LLC, a minority owned government consulting firm TB LLC; Tiffany Brown Design House; Tiffany Brown Holdings Inc. – Consulting firm that has five divisions: entertainment, vending, radio, food, nonprofit management and book publishing. She is an author of several books: Daily Reflections of Life: A Book of Affirmations for the Ambitious and Prayers of a Faithful Woman. In 2010, She is honored as a Influencer by BOSS Network. The BOSS Network is a women’s empowerment alliance dedicated to highlighting women and creating opportunities for growth through networking beyond events. BOSS was named among the top 100 websites and one of the top 10 career sites for women in 2010 by Forbes.com

Goodreads ~ Facebook ~ Website ~ Blog ~ Twitter

Buy the book at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

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My Life Interpreted by Wanda Octave – Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Wanda will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

If you’ve ever pondered how you’ve ended up where you are in life, why things happen the way they do and what your life’s purpose is, then you’ll love My Life Interpreted. It is an uplifting book of ninety-nine inspiring reflections that seeks to demystify the questions of everyday life. Through real-life examples, Wanda Octave demonstrates how you can use your own life to decipher spiritual principles begging for attention.

The answers to life’s burning questions are often right in front of you and Octave shows in a practical and down to earth manner how to access those answers and live more fully.

What started out for Octave as snippets of her own life sent weekly to her list of newsletter subscribers has now been collected into one volume of inspiration. My Life Interpreted is a delightful daily companion or the perfect gift book for anyone seeking encouragement.

Enjoy your exclusive excerpt:

What Hat?

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “Don’t hang your hat higher than you can reach.” Or you may be familiar with the popular nineties track “Waterfalls” by TLC (“Don’t go chasing waterfalls, please stick to the rivers and the lakes that you’re used to…”).

Some time ago I told someone that I wanted to retire within the next two years. She rolled her eyes with disgust, and then suddenly the daggers came from nowhere. “You’re in your thirties, your home isn’t finished, your daughter is under ten, you don’t have enough money saved, the world is in recession—how could you possibly retire in two years? Why don’t you want to work hard like everybody else? I don’t know what is wrong with this new generation, always trying to hang their hat higher than they can reach!”

OK. I took a breath, paused, and shook off the negativity. Yes, she had just pissed all over my dreams. Another breath. Did she really believe that that little speech would stop me? Another breath. “You will prosper in the famine,” I said to myself. I looked her dead in the eye and said confidently, “You’ll see.”

I went away from the conversation sad—sad that so many people impose their beliefs on our dreams. Aren’t we supposed to dream? Aren’t we supposed to have goals and ambitions higher than that of our parents’ generation? How on earth would anyone have achieved greatness if we didn’t? I have to hang my hat higher than I can reach or else I will never reach higher. Why should I just keep stretching up to where I think I can get to? Stars are born when ordinary people push beyond their limits. Breakthroughs are made when we conquer the seemingly impossible.

I will not stick to the rivers and the lakes that I am used to. I will chase the waterfall. I believe I can reach it. And if I don’t, I still would have traveled a bit further, stretched a bit higher, and came one step closer. I would have achieved something greater than what was expected of me. I would have built on the legacy of my parents. I would have set a precedent for my children so that they too can now hang their hat a little bit or quite a bit higher than I did. I would have assisted in the progress of humanity.

So I say, “What hat?” or “What waterfall?” There are no limits. If you want something, go after it. Believe that you will receive it. Trust that everything in the universe is working for you to have it. And if you don’t achieve it, appreciate the journey anyway. It has brought you one step closer to your goal. Perhaps not in the way that you hoped, but closer.

Life is short…chase those waterfalls baby!


After I sent out the “What Hat?” meditation to my e-mail list, I received a phone call from a close friend who was clearly upset with the “tone” of my writing.

“Did you read it?” I asked.

“Yes, I read ‘pissed’!” she said.


“‘She pissed on my dreams’?” (I could picture her, rolling her eyes.)

“Oh,” I said, “yeah, she did piss on my dreams.” I laughed.

“Yes, Wanda, but you shouldn’t say ‘pissed.’ You could have found a better, less offensive way of saying it. You are in a position of influence. You have to watch your language. You don’t find TD Jakes or Oprah speaking like that!”

“Perhaps not but I know others who would,” I said, defending myself.

“In any event, if you want to aspire to anywhere greater, to release a book and have people respect you, you need to watch the tone of your writing. People will lose respect for you if you use that kind of language.”

“What? So I can’t say ‘pissed’?” By then I was beginning to get irritated and just wanted to hang up the phone.

“Look,” I said, “it’s not about putting on a show for anyone, and trying to be respectable. I am being myself. I’m sorry that a stupid little word like ‘pissed’ offended you so much. I hope you got the message anyway.”

I left that conversation really pissed! Funny how someone can use one word to completely derail you. I am not trying to be Mother Theresa. “Pissed” is a verb (and an adjective). Yes, I could have said, “She spat on my dreams,” and that would have had the same effect. But I did not feel spat on. I felt pissed on. So I expressed that. This is a platform to express my feelings. I don’t want to feel confined to acting like a nun. I do understand that I have a responsibility to my readers but I’d also like to believe that they’ve come to know me and have grown with me. They value my honesty and know that I’m not perfect. Even though I try to be impeccable with my word, (in every sense of the word) my choice of language will not always be perfect. I am human.

I felt uneasy having to defend myself to my friend, although I understood that she represented the concerns of other readers who may be ‘turned off’ by such language. She may have understood the intended message of my meditation, but because she felt so strongly about the use of one word, her image of who she thought I should be, overshadowed the message itself.

It stung. I wished sometimes we would just lighten up a bit. Yes there is a place for quoting scripture but there are times when we need to recognize that what is taking place in the present moment is more important than being spiritually correct.

I remember Sarah Ban Breathnach telling Oprah that people had built up an image of the person who wrote Simple Abundance. They had so many expectations of that image. She was supposed to speak a certain way and dress a certain way, and she definitely should not have gotten divorced!

I keep shaking my head. There is no mold. We need to get to that place where we can appreciate the bigger picture. I think it is more important to look beyond the labels, social definitions, character, and language, and appreciate the lesson, the message…the journey.

Pissed, spat, killed, crushed—it’s all language.

Life is short…express yourself!

About the Author:

Wanda Octave lives with constant fascination and intrigue for life. Her amazing ability to extract spiritual messages out of everyday experiences, has kept readers captivated for years and is finally revealed in her new book My Life Interpreted. A former Marketing professional, Octave worked in the fields of banking, real estate and tourism before becoming a writer.

Hailing from the small Caribbean Island which produced two Nobel Laureates – Honorable Derek Walcott and Sir Arthur Lewis, Octave has set her sights on becoming an international best-selling author, hoping to again position Saint Lucia as a force of to be reckoned with.

Learn more at www.WandaOctave.com or follow My Life Interpreted on Facebook.


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Connect with me

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/My-Life-Interpreted/424218667598103

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mylifeinterpreted

Blog: http://www.wandaoctave.com

Smashwords Interview: https://www.smashwords.com/interview/wandaoctave

Smashwords profile page: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/wandaoctave

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Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Authors I Own The Most Books From


Today, our reviewer, Thornapple, has offered up her “Ten Authors I Own The Most Books From”. Welcome, Thornapple!

Thanks for having me! When I signed on to do this post, I thought I had a pretty good idea of who would make my top ten list. One thing I should explain is that I collect vintage paperbacks. So, I have some large collections of some of my all time favorite authors. I couldn’t decide if I should leave those out or include them. I decided to add a few of the collections but mostly these are authors I have on my kindle or have saved my favorite books by them. Some the authors that made the list was surprising to me. I had no idea I had that many books by some of these authors.

So, without further ado: Starting at number ten…

10) Martha Grimes. I have the entire Richard Jury Series!

09) Barbara Michaels. ( aka Elizabeth Peters) I have a huge Gothic collection and Barbara was one of the best, I also have a large collection of her Amelia Peabody novels written under the Elizabeth Peters name

08) Dick Francis. One of my favorite British Mystery Series. I don’t have all of his work, but I have most of them.

07) Christina Dodd. Now this was a surprise. Christiana has written quite a few historical romances, as well as paranormal and romantic suspense. I have saved quite a few of her historical novels. I do not have the infamous 3 armed cover–check that out-it’s legendary.

06) Stephen King. Okay, no surprises there except that I guess I haven’t actually saved many of his books.

05) Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. This is a collection and I’m still working on it, but I have quite a number of Sherlock Holmes books, some are in a very nice collectors volume my son got me for Christmas one year.

04) Julia Quinn. Another head scratcher. I didn’t know I had kept so many of these. Julia is, along with Eloisa James one of my favorite regency period authors.

03) Sherrilyn Kenyon. If you have not read Sherrilyn Kenyon you might not get it. But, trust me when I say this is one popular author. If you manage to keep all the books she has written and try really hard to keep them in mint condition, you might have a small fortune on your hands. One of the best in Paranormal Romance.

02) Rex Stout. Sort of a surprise to me. I have collected Nero Wolfe novels for awhile, but I has no idea my collection was so large. I am really pleased to see I had so many because unless you want to pay a fortune for them on Ebay, they are really hard to find.

And the winner is…Drumroll please… A tie!! I know, what a rip off. However I have to be honest and this may be a little anti climatic, and no surprise to most…

01) Nora Roberts/ J.D. Robb. I have nearly all of the Eve Dallas “In Death” series and many, many, many Nora Roberts novels. I have collected the older Nora Roberts and still have quite a few of her paperbacks but I mostly have these in digital because I love her stories but simply do not have room for a collection of her books. Nora is the queen of romance–she can write anything: contemporary, romantic suspense, paranormal, and even science fiction.

So, there you have it folks- the strangest top ten list in history!! What’s on your bookshelf?

Patriot Priest by Patricia Daly-Lipe – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Patricia will be awarding a $25 Amazon gift card to one randomly drawn commenter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour. Remember, the more you comment, the better your chances to win.

Patriot Priest tells one man’s personal experience over several epochs and areas of history. It is also, in part the story of one unique individual, author Patricia Daly-Lipe’s great uncle, Msgr. William A Hemmick. Born in Pittsburgh, PA, and raised in Europe, he became fluent in five languages. When the First World War broke out, he felt committed to help the troops. After the war, he was proclaimed the Patriot Priest of Picardy by the Army and Navy. After years spent in Paris, William Hemmick was asked by the Vatican to come to Rome. Ultimately he became the only American Canon of St. Peter’s representing the Knights of Malta to the Holy See.

It was he who performed the nuptials of American film star Tyrone Power and Linda Christian. He also converted the future Queen Astrid of Belgium.

Enjoy this excerpt:

Only a few months after entering the American College, William became quite ill. Physicians were called. After checking the boy carefully, they proceeded to give him sad news. William had contracted tuberculosis of the most virulent sort and could not expect to live more than a couple of months. Of course, he wanted to leave for home immediately.

The Rector, Dr. Kennedy, arranged, however, that he should have an audience with the Holy Father (Pope Pius X) before he left. Dr. Kennedy himself took young William to the Vatican and, having first told the Pope in private of the circumstances of the case, the student was ushered into the Pope’s chambers.

The Pope smiled at him tenderly as the young man knelt to kiss the papal ring. Then he lifted his chin, looked him straight in the eye and, very reassuringly, advised the young man, “Don’t worry at all now.”

William looked up at the Pope’s smiling face in disbelief.

“You are going to be all right. Go home and get rested and well.”

Then the Pope placed his hand on William’s head and said, “One day you will be back here.”

The ailing young seminarian would not have dared to hope at that moment the Holy Father was speaking the truth. However, he was.

Soon after he returned to America, William’s health improved. Although his convalescence was long, he was finally able to resume his priestly studies at Mt. St. Mary’s College in Emmitsburg, Maryland, followed by six years at Catholic University in Washington, DC.

About the Author:

Dr. Patricia Daly-Lipe, is an Author and Artist. She has written six books, all different genres. She is winner of the San Diego Book Awards, Best Books Finalist, the JADA Novel Contest, USABookNews.com Finalist, 2009 2nd place in poetry by the Virginia Writers Club, Inc, and 2013 winner in historical fiction at the Annual Royal Dragonfly Book Awards for ‘A CRUEL CALM, Paris Between the Wars and 2013 winner for her short story by the Virfginia Writers Assn.

Although born in La Jolla, California, Patricia spent equal time in Washington, D.C., home of several generations of her mother’s family.

She has taught at colleges and writing centers, written for magazines and newspapers (including the Evening Star in Washington, DC, La Jolla Village News, The Georgetowner andUptowner), and her paintings have been accepted and sold in Juried shows, art galleries, and private homes. Two of her books feature her paintings on their covers.

Patricia served as President of both the La Jolla and DC Branches of the National League of American Pen Women.

Patricia now lives in Virginia with her husband, Dr. Steele Lipe, three dogs, three horses, and two cats. For years, Patricia raised, raced, and showed Thoroughbred horses. Now she rescues them. She is the mother of three and grandmother of six children.

Buy the book at Amazon.

Common Mistakes Authors Make When Self Publishing by A. William Benitez – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $5 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter at each stop and a Grand Prize of a $50 Amazon GC at the end of the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Common Mistakes Authors Make When Self Publishing
by A. William Benitez

Authors write but when deciding to publish it’s easy to forget it’s an entirely different job and proceed without learning the needed skills. Here are just a few common mistakes authors make when jumping into self publishing.

1. The six authors I helped to self publish all made the same common mistake. It seems they wanted to write and format their book at the same time. Writing and book design are entirely different processes to be handled separately or both may suffer. Even if the author is also going to design and format the book, that process should not begin until the writing is finished. Formatting during writing can negatively impact both tasks. Every author delivered a manuscript replete with unnecessary formatting creating problems for the final layout and formatting. One of the manuscripts was so clogged with confusing formatting I finally copied the entire manuscript and pasted it into Notepad to wipe out all the formatting before beginning the preparation for the final book. Writing is a creative endeavor and demands your full attention instead of being part of multitasking.

2. Lack of planning is another serious mistake. Even though I write how to books based entirely on first-hand experience requiring little if any research, careful planning is essential. A basic outline of all the topics in the book is an excellent guide before writing the first word. This is not carved in granite and if an idea comes up while following the outline, I make a detailed note of it and set it aside so as not to forget and come back to it later. Even a loose outline helps make certain everything is covered. Once I start nothing interrupts the flow until the first draft is complete.

3. Editing as you write is a mistake that slows you down and interrupts the creative juices. Once the outline is complete it’s best to follow it and write without stopping to correct mistakes or retype sentences. I prefer to avoid even editing chapters as I go along. Editing and rewriting are best left until the first draft is completed.

4. Another mistake is believing that the tool or application used for writing will influence the quality. For years I’ve used Word to write my drafts. That’s what I call a “so what.” Others use OpenOffice, Scrivner, and other applications. A rare few still use pen or pencil on paper pads or notebooks. The best tool or application for writing is the one with which you are most comfortable.
It’s a big step from author to self publisher but a skilled person can learn to perform all the tasks or at least enough to hire and monitor competent experts to perform those beyond their ken. Whether doing it all or hiring assistance, avoiding these mistakes definitely helps.

About the Author: MEDIA KIT BillBenitezGFFrom age twelve I spent my summers and weekends working with my dad, a general contractor, building homes and buildings. I contracted my first home at age nineteen and built my own home by age twenty. For more than 30 years I have operated one-person businesses. Twelve years of my life were spent working for local government managing federally-assisted housing programs. I started as an inspector with a three month assignment and was Director of Community Improvement with 78 employees when I resigned to do writing and consulting.

Writing, Publishing and Consulting

During the 80’s I established Rehab Notes Library a publishing company that published a monthly newsletter (Rehab Notes) with subscribers in all 50 states, Canada and England. I also did consulting and public speaking on housing related topics for agencies and organizations in cities across the country and testified before the U.S. Congress on housing issues.

I wrote and published nine guidebooks on the subject of housing rehabilitation. After 1980 when most federal funding was pulled from housing activities, I took advantage of my construction and business experience and started a handyman and woodworking business.

Over Twenty Years of Woodworking

For over twenty years, first in Tampa, Florida and then in Austin, Texas, I built hundreds of small and large cabinet and furniture projects for individuals, companies and government agencies. During these years I began writing books about my woodworking business experiences.

Positive Publishing

In 2007 I established Positive Imaging, LLC, to publish a children’s book for my wife and then begin publishing my own books and that of other using methods I call positive publishing. To date we have published twelve paperback books, a half dozen ebooks, and presently have several books in various levels of completion.

Computer Experience

My computer experience dates back more than fifteen years and began in response to poor technical support for our computers. I used home study to acquire A+ and Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer Certifications.

I was born and raised in Tampa, Florida and moved to Austin, Texas in 1986, where I now live with my wife, Barbara Frances. We have three adult children, eight grand-children, and two great grandchildren.

Main Sales/Info Page – http://selfpublishingworkbook.com
Createspace Fulfillment Page – https://www.createspace.com/3851405
Main Positive Imaging, LLC Site – http://positive-imaging.com
Self Publishing Support Blog – http://self-publishing-support.com
PublishingSimplified Blog – http://publishingsimplified.com

MEDIA KIT SPFrontCoverFrustration With Traditional Publishers Leads To Self Publishing

In 2007 my wife Barbara completed a wonderful children’s chapter book called Lottie’s Adventure and begin sending it to traditional publishers. Despite some great preliminary reviews, all she got was rejections and lack of response. This was quite frustrating for her and I wanted to help.

As an IT professional, I had read a lot about print on demand and made up my mind to learn all about it and then publish Lottie’s Adventure. It was a lengthy learning curve and I made lots of mistakes including the selection of a POD company that was more expensive than necessary. Nevertheless, we produced a high quality book and in spite of our lack of knowledge we sold quite a few copies of Lottie’s Adventure.

After this success I realized that self publishing had potential for some of my own writing and began developing effective, efficient, and lower cost methods to publish the books that I wrote. Since then I have written and published six books and a few ebooks of my own and established a publishing company that has published six books plus several ebooks for other writers.

After consistently producing and marketing quality books worldwide I decided to share these proven methods in a new book covering every step from idea through book creation to worldwide sales. That book is Self Publishing: Writing A Book and Publishing Books and Ebooks For Yourself and Others.

A Day in the Life of Karen Dove Barr –guest blog and giveaway

VBT Wild Times on Skidaway Island Banner copy

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Karen will be awarding a $25 Walmart gift card to FOUR (4) randomly drawn commenters during the tour, and a Grand Prize of an Apple iPad to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

A Day in the Life of Karen Dove Barr

12:01 A.M. My husband, Joe is jerking, half-sitting up, sound asleep. Since he’s been on meds for Lewy Body dementia he doesn’t knock over the nightstand or punch me in the head, but I quickly wake him. “”Sorry,” he mumbles. “Really wild dream.” He’s asleep again before he can articulate. I’m back asleep too. We are used to the sporadic waking.

My alarm is set for 5:30 A.M. but the stray Maine Coon who adopted us likes me up by 5:00. She jumps on my sleeping body and gently taps me with her paw. I know two taps is her limit; before she bares her claws I groggily head for the kitchen. After I mix dry and canned cat food for her and the feral kitties meowing loudly at my back door, I grab a cup of coffee and bowl of fruit for me. I scan the morning newspaper, reading all the comics and my horoscope as I don a business suit, makeup, and high heels.

After kissing a sleeping Joe goodbye, I head out in the dark, off the island, to the end of a wooded peninsular on the mainland to my daughter’s house. Wresting my thirteen-year-old granddaughter and her younger brothers, ages nine and six, from their long time nanny, I pile three backpacks, two computers, a bag of baseball gear, a gym bag, a violin, and a 4” by 6” cardboard poster into the back of my SUV next to my own gym bag.

“Grandma! My mascara is smeared!” wails the thirteen-year-old.

We head across Savannah to the carpool line where I join young moms and dads unloading their children for school, then on to my office.

By 8:30 I grab my files for court, hollering last minute instructions to my paralegals, drive to the courthouse parking garage and race up and down between courtrooms, explaining to deputies where I will be since I have three nine o’clock trials before two different judges.

My uncontested divorce on the second floor doesn’t show. After pacing the halls and calling my office I ask the judge to continue the case. Rushing back to the fourth floor I’m told I will be last, my punishment for being late.

Hurray! I take my seat up front, away from my clients, and surreptiously remove my legal pad with the draft of the nature story I’m working on hidden in the back. As the husband in the ongoing case explains his wife was responsible for their eight-year-old being present at the wife-swapping event they hosted, I revise the draft I typed the night before. While I’m working on the story one of my clients taps me to tell me his wife accepted our settlement offer.

Finally the judge calls my last case. I drag my thoughts from my draft and explain my client only developed a romantic relationship with his secretary because his wife never wanted to have sex. Too bad the wife stole his phone and her lawyer had blown up his texts describing exactly how he wanted the secretary to perform. I reiterate that has nothing to do with the wife’s need for alimony.

Rushing from the courthouse to the jail, I wend my way into the depths of a cellblock and am ushered into a dirty, windowless cell to await my client. Another chance to pull out my pad and add a paragraph detailing the facts of the otter’s life cycle. While my client tries to convince me he’s innocent because the witness who saw him throw cocaine in the trash had already moved out of sight before he tossed it, I ponder whether to cut the neighbor’s reaction to the otter’s pups, since I used it in a previous story.

Five appointments in my office later and it’s 6:00 P.M. I haven’t drafted the orders from this morning’s cases but my paralegal tells me Joe called four times wanting to know when I’m leaving.

I drive to the gym, change, pump iron for forty-five minutes, then home where I grab a maglite and head out for a three mile run. Within minutes the headlights of Joe’s golf cart make my flashlight unnecessary, as he trails behind in our familiar routine. While I think about the owl blocking my driveway this morning, and ponder whether it would make a good story, a half mile goes by without me even noticing.

About the Author:MEDIA KIT Author PhotoKaren Dove Barr, Attorney, was recently recognized by the Georgia State Bar for providing legal assistance to military families and service members. She has practiced in the field of family law in Savannah for 34 years.


MEDIA KIT skidawaycoverWild Times on Skidaway Island, Georgia’s Historic Rain Forest, details life in a unique Audubon-designated, ecologically friendly refuge. There, golfers pitch balls around endangered great blue herons, mama raccoons march their babies across backyard decks where once Guale Indians trapped ancestors of the same raccoons, and residents dodge alligators and rescue snakes.

Even the vegetation is wild. Three hundred-year-old oaks dripping Spanish moss and poison ivy surmount an under-story of wax myrtle and holly. Carolina jasmine, Cherokee roses, and endangered orchids grow wild in the rain forest. The book examines choices residents make when stared down by a bald eagle, when a red-tailed hawk mistakes a golf ball for bird food, when wakened at midnight by deer munching hibiscus. Wild Times on Skidaway Island educates about the species that residents must adapt to on this historic island.

Buy the book from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or the publisher.

Halloween Blogfest: Christy Nicholas

Ghosts on the Isle of Skye
The Lodge at Edinbane has got to be my favorite B&B on our entire trip in 2008. It was wonderful! Large, rambling property, lots of rooms, a pub and dining room on property, everything run by Hazel, Pete and Cal. It even had resident ghosties to keep you company at night! And yes, even though all the rooms on the website were pink, she had some purple and even some blue rooms available, never fear.

The pub had some wonderful meals – we had dinner there a couple nights, and breakfast was part of our B&B rate. They offered everything from cheese salads to beef bourguignon. One night I had a lovely smoked mackerel salad, and it was quite strong! The cheese salad does sound strange, but looked tasty – a nice salad of greens and veg with several different cheeses on it, including brie, cranberry stilton, feta, etc. One evening, four of us continued to have drinks at the pub until almost midnight, out-waiting several locals who were shepherds drinking in the bar. One decided that he should start serenading us. It would have been lovely if we could have figured out what he was saying or singing.

Hazel always wowed us with her breakfasts. She made Scottish pancakes for all, which are sweeter than the American version. She also served this crystallized ginger preserve with them that was simply delectable, and very addicting. My friend, Kim, practically growled when we tried to take some of hers.

We had a couple ghost encounters – Kim saw a shadowed figure in her room one night, though she felt no fear of it. It went away rather quickly. Jason heard rapping on the closet door (which was right next to where I was sleeping). He looked for any reason for it – air vents, mechanisms, etc., and couldn’t find a rational explanation for the tapping. We were told that the ghost in that room was a rather prim Victorian lady, and if we told her we were married, she would stop complaining. Jason also heard a ghost dog walking across the hardwood floor in front of him. Now, he had been sipping whisky in front of the peat fire, relaxing that afternoon, and while the place had three dogs, they were all big dogs (Labradors) and all outside. This sounded like a small dog, like a terrier, click-clicking along right in front of him.

Hazel and her family made us feel so much at home, that we will definitely be back the next trip we make to this place. And Skye is such a fantastic area, that we can’t help but go there again!

Leave a comment for a chance to win a digital copy of Ireland: Mythical, Magical, Mystical.

About the Author:MEDIA KIT Author PhotoMy name is Christy Nicholas, also known as Green Dragon. I do many things, including digital art, beaded jewelry, writing and photography. In real life I’m a CPA, but having grown up with art and around me (my mother, grandmother and great-grandmother are/were all artists), it sort of infected me, as it were. I love to draw and to create things. It’s more of an obsession than a hobby. I like looking up into the sky and seeing a beautiful sunset, or a fragrant blossom, a dramatic seaside. I then wish to take a picture or create a piece of jewelry to share this serenity, this joy, this beauty with others. Sometimes this sharing requires explanation – and thus I write. Combine this love of beauty with a bit of financial sense and you get an art business. I do local art and craft shows, as well as sending my art to various science fiction conventions throughout the country and abroad.

Find Christy here:
Find Christy’s book at her publisher and at other eBook stores.

MEDIA KIT Mythical Ireland by Christy Nicholas - 1600 - 300dpiDo you find yourself drawn to the magic of the Emerald Isle? Would you like to see places beyond the typical tourist traps? Come, join me on a journey through the mists of legend, into the hidden places of mystery. Immerse yourself in the legends and myths, the history that has made this island precious in the hearts and minds of millions. Along with the tales and history, there is practical information on planning your trip, budgeting your costs, and finding the best places to while away the magical hours of your holiday.

Play Twenty Questions: Question 20

anniversary header 2013 copy

 Enjoy these answers from a host of authors in multiple genres, from YA to mystery to romance — then enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win a $100 Amazon or BN GC and more!

2013 Anniversary NON Questions 20
Tasarla Romaney  Duck Dynasty. I love Jace and Si. To sit and drink coffee with them would totally rock

Linda Palmer Reality shows are way too revealing. Though I’m a big fan of Survivor and Big Brother, no amount of money would make me be on either.

Debra St. John  I wouldn’t want to be a contestant, but I’d love to get a reservation for a meal at “Hell’s Kitchen”. We watch it with friends every week and always talk about going there. However, since many times the food doesn’t get served in a timely manner or the kitchen gets shut down entirely, we’d be sure to nibble beforehand and have a back up dining plan for afterwards!

Kaylie Newell The Deadliest Catch. Of course, I’d just make them give me a ride in the harbor and then take me back to the dock.

Judy Alter One of the cooking reality shows–unless someone starts on about mystery authors

Linda Rettstatt They’d have to create a new show for me. One where whoever could sit in a recliner and work on the laptop the longest without getting up would win. I’d suck at Survivor (see earlier note about spiders and snakes). I can’t play games well enough for Big Brother–I’d insult everyone. And Dancing With the Stars is really out of the question given my two left feet. Recliner sitting and typing is my forte.

Maeve Greyson Duck Dynasty. They remind me a lot of my own family. ;-)

Niecey Roy UFO Hunters!!! Because…we are not alone ;)

Tess Morrison The Apprentice. I’m sure I’d kick butt, but I’m afraid I wouldn’t take it so well if I was fired. Actually, I just want to get a gander at Donald’s hair. I think I could help him with that.

Tina Pollick Definitely not any survivor show. Nope. No singing shows, because that would be just mean. No cooking shows because people wouldn’t want to come over anymore to eat. No dating shows because I’m happily married. Are there any more shows left?

Debra Doggett That one where they put you back in time and made you go live on a farm without electricity or running water. I don’t think I’d last long but it’d be a great weekend and with the money they pay me I can buy a real house and pay the electric bill.

Nia Simone Anna Nicole Smith, but she’s gone. My heart just breaks for her. It always did. I get teary-eyed just thinking of her. I just always felt she was so vulnerable. And no one really saw it. She was so easy to ridicule. I would like to go back in time and make things turn out better for her. For her not to lose her son and then her own life to despair.

Virginia Crane  None. I really don’t like reality shows because they are fake. Think about it. There has to be a camera person and tons of film that will be edited. Everyday life is reality enough for me.

Graeme Brown I think anyone ho brought a camera into my house would be able to start their own reality TV show.

Nancy Fraser The Biggest Loser. I find most reality shows useless, but this one is life-changing. It would be nice to get a firm handle on good eating habits, a constant exercise routine and improve my overall health.

Robyn Bachar Ghost Hunters! It’s one of my very favorite TV shows. I’d love to go on an investigation with the TAPS team. I have a life-long interest in the paranormal, which is what first inspired me to write paranormal romance. I even have an homage to the TAPS team in my novella FIRE IN THE BLOOD.

Jeanette Baker I have no idea. I’ve never watched a reality show. Sorry.

Kim Hornsby I’d like to be on The Bachelor if I were young, single and gorgeous. If I was on the show with the wisdom I now have at the ripe age of 56, I’d be the most intelligent and appealing contestant in the history of The Bachelor. When I watch the show (and I’m a huge fan!) I play along and groan when the girls say and do something stupid, then remember how stupid I was when I was twenty-two. If you read my novella The Husband Hunt, you’ll see that I created a character who comes to her senses mid way through the first month on The Bachelor and tries to pull out of the competition.

Juliet Waldron Perhaps Dancing With the Stars. But only if I could have my 25 year old body back again.

Willa Blair One of those cooking shows where you get to sample all the great food they’re making. Maybe Dancing with the Stars. It looks like fun, despite all the injuries. On second thought, being in their studio audience would probably be sufficient.

Lynda J Cox Ice Road Truckers–but I’d be in the office lining up loads. As much as I love to drive (and as often as I drive over the road going to and from dog shows), there isn’t a snowball’s chance in hell of EVER getting me to drive a big rig across a frozen lake. NO THANK YOU!

Lynda Coker I hate reality shows. What an oxymoron, there is nothing remotely real about reality shows.

Brenda Gayle I am a big reality show fan, but think I would be a disaster on most of them. I’d never survive on the Island without my morning coffee, I have a terrible fear of heights so Amazing Race is out, and I’m not tactful enough to survive the Big Brother house. However, one reality show I think I’m perfectly suited to is Take Home Chef (I’m not sure if it’s still on TLC). I fantasize about being picked up by Chef Curtis Stone while I’m shopping for rutabaga in the vegetable aisle of my local grocery store. “Hello, beautiful. Can I take you home and show you how to mash that veg?”

Mary Hughes It’s not a reality show but I have a fantasy of driving the Reasonably Priced Car on Top Gear. Meeting Jeremy, James and Richard, being coached around the race track by the Stig? It would be the coolest thing ever.

Shannyn Schroeder I’m not a huge fan of reality shows, but I think it would be fun to be on The Apprentice. The Apprentice rewards not just business acumen and intelligence, but also creativity. Some of the best players on the show have been people I wouldn’t have pegged to be great. They’re not loud and outgoing; they stay in the back and observe, plan, and learn before attacking. I’m good at leading a group and taking charge, but I have little patience for the BS that gets tossed around, so I might not make it far in the game.

Lynn Crandall I can’t imagine any type of reality show I would try to get on. I watch one or two and they are entertaining, but I don’t know why people subject themselves to such situations. However, if I were going to pick one it would maybe be Ice Road Truckers. There’s a lot of drama on the ice roads and some interesting, though frequently volatile, drivers. I imagine enjoying a sense of accomplishment in surviving and getting the jobs done.

Weird that I picked driving. I don’t like to drive in bad weather. Maybe I have an inner truck driver waiting to be let out.

Barbara Meyers Survivor…except I’d probably get kicked off early on. Not because I couldn’t get along with everyone, but I might not be able to handle the physical distress of sleeping (or not being able to sleep) outside, not having enough food, getting eaten up by bugs, etc.

Carol Henry Actually, I don’t watch reality shows—well I did watch Survivor at first in order to see something of the romantic locations where they were filmed. I soon became embarrassed at how badly the people acted. I can’t imagine me taking part in any such show—I’d more than likely act just as stupid and embarrassing, and can’t stand the thought of my family seeing me as conniving, arguing, and acting so badly on live TV– world-wide. It’s just wrong.

Robin Renee Ray Swamp People….Why? Because I am part Hillbilly and helping catch then eating a gator would ROCK…then I could write a short horror read about some killer gator getting payback..LOL

Joya Fields “Survivor.” I’d love to see if I had what it took to survive in the wilderness with no modern conveniences.

Patty Campbell  The dog whisperer, to find out if Caesar is really as sexy as they say he is.

Genie Gabriel No thanks. Life is enough reality for me.

Pamela S Thibodeaux None, I hate reality shows because they (for the most part) are scripted…how is that real?

Elysa Hendricks Renovation Raiders, Kitchen Crashers or any HGTV show. My house desperately needs a kitchen remodel.

Allie Boniface The only reality show I watch (religiously, every episode since the first season) is Survivor. While I don’t know how well I’d do (I’m not great at manipulating and backstabbing people), the idea of putting all those different personalities together and watching how they interact is fascinating. So yeah, I might give that a try. Plus I hear it’s a great way to lose weight fast!

Ryshia Kennie I wouldn’t love to be on any reality TV show. Okay, was that not the right answer? But really, there are some reality TV shows I watch but none I’d want to get closer than the other side of my television set. I suppose if I wanted to break into show business I’d say American Idol – but I don’t. Besides, some of the reality TV I watch is a little bizarre and more than likely, that’s exactly why I watch it. It’s just a nice break and not something I want to participate in.

Troy Lambert I’ve already been on COPS, so I wouldn’t mind going back, I suppose. I just want to get away this time.

Jane Toombs Sorry, none. I don’t like reality shows.

Jaleta Clegg I want to invent my own called Chocolate Coma. The whole point is to see who can concoct the most chocolate dishes each episode. They have to taste good so no chocolate meatballs or chocolate lima beans. If I had to be on a real reality show, I’d love a shot at the next superhero one hosted by Stan Lee. I’m nowhere near buff or young or athletic, and I look terrible in spandex, but I liked the values they were promoting with that show.

Beth Trissel Not Survivor, that’s for sure. I’m not certain they’ve come up with the right reality show for me. Maybe life in a castle, and I would be the duchess, of course.

Helena Fairfax I’d love to be on a reality dance show. That would be awesome. Of course, I’d have to be able to dance.

Kelly Whitley Not a big fan of reality TV.

I suppose Bear Grylls Get Out Alive (not sure I’ve got the name exactly right). At least these people are facing real challenges and acquiring survival skills they could actually use some day!

Some of the stuff they have to do is gross, but compared to the angst of The Kardashians…no contest.

Paty Jager I think it would be fun to be on Dancing with the Stars. As I said before I love to dance, but I’m not sure I could stand up to the pressure of all those people watching and having to talk to people. And my klutziness would be a huge problem. But I find dancing fun and would love to learn how to be better.

Linda McMaken Oh, please, my life is reality enough! I want fantasy baby, that’s why I write romance. Give me a good, juicy fantasy anytime over reality. Get me lost in a book with great characters and a solid plot, and…..who needs reality?

Penny Estelle Wipeout! I’m sure it would kill me, but it looks like such a fun time!

Isabo Kelly Top Chef as a judge! Because while I may not do a lot of cooking, I do love to eat (which is why I have to lie about my weight).

Lynne Marshall Property Brothers – I’d love for those two strapping twin brothers to come to my house and fix it for me!

Melissa McClone I would love to be on The Amazing Race. I think the show itself is great and the things they put contestants through challenging. Traveling around the globe like that would be so much fun. I’d love to see how I would do against the other teams.

Aaron Speca Extreme Makeover: Home Edition – because to be deemed worthy of being on that show, it means I would had to have done something that really helped someone.

Pamela Turner Masterchef, although I suspect I wouldn’t even make it through the auditions. But I like Gordon Ramsay and how he inspires people to do their best.

Shirley Martin Sorry, I don’t watch reality shows. And even if I did, I wouldn’t want to be on them. Would not want the publicity.

Amy Corwin: None of them. Are you kidding? I’m not that masochistic. LOL Although I wouldn’t mind accompanying Survivor-man on a trip because I love camping and think it’s great to have good survival skills.



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