Archive for the ‘Guest Post’ Category

Books: Pit Stop for Marian Thomas

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

5 Easy Steps to Get Your Book Noticed by Book Clubs!

Marian L. Thomas

Talk with most authors and they all have one thing in common—to get their books noticed by as many book readers as possible. Book Clubs today have become the means to accomplish that task. Book clubs represent book lovers, and book lovers are the ones that buy books. So how do you get your book noticed by book clubs?

Hopefully, following these 5 easy steps will help .

Step #1- Website. Get a website created with your own custom domain name. It has been common in the industry to see author domain names that are geared toward the title of their first book, however, it might be more effectively in the long run to get a domain name that features your first and last author name. For example: Why Important? Book clubs need somewhere to go to read more about you, your book (s) and to see how to purchase your book. A website also helps you establish creditability as a serious author.

Include on your website the following:

-Home Page: a photo of yourself is often displayed on the home page.

-BIO: Keep it simple but give it some substance.

-Book Page: Book Synopsis, Purchase Links for Your Book, Reviews, Links to Book Trailer

-Media:  To set up this page, first make sure you set-up a free press room at Once your press room has been created, ensure that any press releases that are written about your book, book events or other news that is media worthy is linked to your press room. You can then add a link to your press room under your Media tab. Be sure to include any links to articles that you have written or radio shows on this page.

-Contact: Use this page for comments, a way for readers to reach you or as a guest book.

-Calendar: Must have! Google Calendar is great, free and can be embedded on your website.

Step #2 – Sponsorship. Sponsor 3 to 5 book club meetings during the first month of your book release. Book clubs are often looking for sponsors for their events or meetings.  The result,  if you get 25 to 50 book club members  the first month of your release, that’s 25 to 50 more people that know about your book! Word of mouth is vital as you continue on your journey to authorship. Look for a local coffee shop to hold your events. Here’s an idea for a good theme: Coffee &  A Book. Buy the first round of coffee and consider having finger-type  foods or sandwiches if available.

Step #3 -Network. Use the Internet to invite book clubs to your event. Try websites like: to find book clubs in your area and reach out to the coordinator. Set-up a “Like” page for your book and do a search on ‘book clubs’ on facebook. Invite them to ‘like’ your page. Also, look for groups on facebook that are geared toward readers, authors, writers or poetry. Offer to send a book club president a signed copy of your book.

Step #4- Live Chats. There are many book clubs out there that won’t reside in your local area or State for that matter. You want to have a means to reach them as well. Skype can help.  Invite book clubs to schedule a ‘live’ chat with you on Skype. If they have Skype already set-up, then it’s a free call for you and them. Skype also allows you to do a video call. Of course, there are others companies that offer this, so do your research and find one that book clubs are also using.

Step #5- Cash or Credit. Make sure you display lots of copies of your book at your event and be sure to have a means for your guest to purchase them. If you have an Iphone or Blackberry, there are credit card companies out there that have great apps that can be installed on your phone. This gives you the ability to take credit cards whenever someone says “I want your book”!

About the Author:

Marian L. Thomas, reared in Chicago but lives with her biggest-supporter—her husband and their spoiled but playful dog, Winston in Atlanta, Georgia. Her debut title, Color Me Jazzmyne, went on to become an Amazon Best-Seller and was ranked as one of the” Top 100 Books”-1st Qtr 2010 by the Sankofa Literary Society Review.

Marian welcomes the release of her second book, My Father’s Colors-The Drama-Filled Journey of Naya Monà Continues to online retailers,, Barnes &, Kindle and Nook. Be sure to get your copy today! It is sure to be another Best-Seller for the author as it takes you on the journey of four individuals that lead to one destination filled with betrayal, lies and shocking secrets.

Author’s Website:

Ready to Purchase Your Copy? Click Here

Ms. Thomas is currenly (today) doing a pit stop blitz tour of different sites. Stop in to the BK Walker Event Page and leave a comment for your chance to win 1 of 5 Ebook Copies of My Father’s Colors. Share the event and leave a link in the comments section and be entered to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card. Fun facts and trivia throughout the day.

Stop in and leave a comment at each pit stop for your chance to win a signed copy of My Father’s Colors (a comment at each stop is mandatory to be entered into drawing). Use the linky below to visit the blogs participating on this tour.

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Guest Post: Ami Blackwelder – Shifters of 2040

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

  Eloquent Enraptures and author Ami Blackwelder proudly presents the six part science fiction/paranormal romance saga! Like nothing you have ever experienced! 

                           Shifters of 2040: 

“I’m pregnant.  Her eyes peered over the edge of the cloth and confronted her mirrored reflection with that truth.  I’m pregnant…by a SHIFTER.  Oh, god!” 

In “The Shifters of 2040,” Scientist Melissa Marn finds her world swirling on its axis with that one revelation.  Shifters — a sentient alien species of light — look to Earth for refuge.  In doing so, both shifters and humans are forced to confront prejudice, betrayal, adversity and oppression. 

Methodical scientist, Melissa Marn, and her coworker, Dr. Bruce Wilder, conduct experiments on the shifters.  Through her pregnancy, she becomes more compassionate and humane and finds herself defending the very species she’s supposed to eradicate.  

One of the hybrids, Diamond, falls in love with Keenan, a soldier trained to kill her. Between the four, the reader is led from conflict to resolution, from despair to hope, from loneliness to love. 

Much of the book’s originality lies in the shifters, common characters in science fiction, but whose origins are rarely explained. In this series, their alien DNA allows them to metamorphose into not just wolves, but a variety of animals. As the plot unfolds, the shifters discover they can have children with humans — hybrids. 

Strengths of the novel include the complex characters, its writing style of poetic prose and rich description, and the well developed, thought-provoking, yet highly entertaining plot. 

This fast paced book will appeal to the young adult and adult market. It fits nicely into the paranormal romance and science fiction romance genres and would make a great movie, a captivating TV series and an intriguing video game. 

Readers will enjoy the fresh approach and original concept of the world thirty years from now, and will find the characters come to life in their minds long after they read “The End.” 

                          Shifter Evolutions video and purchase options at her website. 


YouTube Preview Image

                                              The Shifters of 2040 

Character Interview: This interview will be conducted for the characters of the Shifters of 2040. Scientist Melissa Marn and the hybrid Diamond. 

Do you always love what you can’t have? 

Melissa Marn: The Smithsonian, Bruce Wilder. I guess I do. But my life is controlled by the SCM now, by my father and General Raul. They decided this fate for me. If I had my way, I’d run off with Bruce somewhere far away… 

Diamond: I fell in love with the enemy on accident. I didn’t plan to love Keenan, the military soldier sworn to kill me and my kind. He didn’t plan to love me. We just happened. 

If you were a quality? 

Melissa Marn: The River. I am methodical like waves. I do the job needed to be done, whatever the cost of erosion, and flow continually. Close to the Earth, but I am cold, because the SCM coaxed me since fifteen, and trained me since twenty-five. 

Diamond: The Hawk. This is my other half, the beast inside of me, that the humans fear. I fly above the world and watch. Silent, and steady, but strong. 

If you were a flaw? 

Melissa Marn: Ice. I am cold, and hard. And too easily I melt and conform to the shape I am enclosed in, that prisoner the SCM has built around my life. 

Diamond: The Heart. I feel too much. Emotions explode inside of me, and I sense my heart will be the end of me one day. If I could only feel less… 

Do you always walk on the moral slippery slope? 

Melissa Marn: It’s my job! It’s all I know. And if I didn’t do it, someone else would. What then?  I know the shifters are more than the SCM tells us they are. They must feel something. But what? My curiosity and scientific training drives me. I have to find answers to my questions. I have to perform my duty! 

Diamond: But I love him! I know being with him draws danger to my kind, to my family. My sister. But he would never betray me, willingly. I know he loves me too. And though I am sworn to stay away from him, from all SCM, my heart dominates my head. 

Favorite food? 

Melissa Marn: The Italian restaurant Little Milan. Bruce and I have shared many discussions, heated arguments, and romantic memories there.  

Diamond: Mice…I am half hawk. 


Amazon Prints                                  Kindle                                                Nook 


February 5 – Spotlight at
February 8 – Guest Blogging at
February 10 – Guest Blogging at
February 16 – Author Interviewed at
February 18 – Guest Blogging at
February 22 – Guest Blogging at 
February 24 – Guest Blogging at 
March 2 – Guest Blogging at
March 4 – Guest Blogging at
March 5 – Author Interviewed at



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Guest Post: Ashley Dawn – Author of Shadows from the Past

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

Guest Post On Writing – Ashley Dawn

“…It is the price you pay for choosing to be a cop.  Your brother’s life…”

 Those words haunt her dreams, and her waking moments.  LAPD officer, Aurora Kavvan cannot rest until she finds her brothers killer.  Digging into the past always brings back unpleasant things:  memories, guilt…the hit man.  Now she is in a race against time to find the murderer before he finds her.

 “Kill her.  I don’t care how, and I don’t care where, but I want her dead now!” 

Someone was trying to kill his dead partner’s sister.  FBI agent, Jordan Reiley will stop at nothing to protect the woman he loves.  Even if it means going against her wishes; putting himself between her and the man who murdered her brother.   

Will God keep them alive long enough for them to find the truth?”

From “Shadows from the Past”

Thank you Rick for having me on your blog today!

“What actually inspired you to write a book, I never knew you were creative?”  My cousin was giving me a hard time at a book signing last month.  I laughed at her and told her something like; I have many hidden talents and just laughed it off.  When I get to thinking about it, honestly, I think it had to be my mother’s bedtime stories.  She is an amazing woman and has such an imagination and she seems to have passed that on to my siblings and me.  I remember her nieces and nephews would specifically come to spend the night so they could hear her stories.

It wasn’t like she wrote them down then read them, she told them ‘off the cuff’ and they were great!  One was about ‘The alligator that got flushed down the toilet’ and it kept us laughing.  I think that was the best thing she could have ever done.  Each story had a moral and a life lesson.  The fact that she would get us all together and entertain us was just great.  I think she had as much fun in the telling as we had in the listening.  It made us want to entertain people that way.

She has helped me in my writing career.  She is the first one I ever showed any of my work and she encouraged me to continue it.  I’ve had many reasons to write, I want to entertain, to try to write a good ‘caliber’ book and several other things but I always think back to nighttime at an old two-story house with my mom telling the stories and being completely entertained.  I just hope one day someone finds one of my stories half as entertaining as hers were for me!  Thanks mom!!!

-Ashley Dawn

Author of The Psyonic.

About the Author:

Author Ashley Dawn was born and raised in rural Arkansas where she developed her love for writing while helping in her parent’s office.  She graduated with an accounting degree from the University of Central Arkansas.  Ashley has been writing professionally for the past seven years.  She and her family make their home in TX.

January 18 – Guest Blogging at  Mystee
January 20 – Guest Blogging at
January 25 – Author Interviewed at 
January 27 – Guest Blogging at
January 31 – Author Interviewed at 
February 2 – Author Interviewed at
February 4 – Guest Blogging at
February 8 – Guest Blogging at
February 10 – Author Interviewed at
February 12 – Author Interviewed at

Guest Post – Shanda Sharlow – The Psyonic

Monday, January 17th, 2011

Guest Post On The Art of Writing – Shanda Sharlow

The Psyonic was the first book I successfully completed. Oh, I’d started at least a dozen fantasy novels, muddling through from when I had no clue how to write to figuring out about little things like copyright laws. I’ve got enough material from unwritten or unfinished stories (actual original stories) to write several more novels. Of course, the problem in finishing them was just that: I crammed so much information and so many storylines into one place I could never finish a story.

With The Psyonic, I actually started out with a very, very simple and short storyline, and worked from there. As it turned out, I actually completed the story and ended up making it much longer and complex than the original idea was.

Sometimes I look back at the story and think about ways I could go back and rewrite it to make it longer and far more complicated. In the end, however, I don’t think it’s necessary. Inspiration and conception should be simple and vague, an allow for natural creative growth. Overcomplicating things before getting started just bogs down the writing and gets you lost along the way.

And really, where’s the fun in writing a story, if you can never make it to the end? Isn’t it much more fun to get stories finished and find yourself with several stories you can share with others and swap around as inspiration strikes, than spending years working on one very long and excruciatingly detailed work you won’t really be able to share until it’s complete? And imagine how the sequels would be. Could you account for everything? Would you have to? Just how many should you plan to, and what if it’s not as popular as you’d like it to be?

Of course many of my favorite novels are extremely long and highly complex, but shorter and simpler novels have captivated me just as much when I read them, and more often than not, they’ve got plenty of sequels to follow afterward. And there’s nothing saying that the longest stories of all couldn’t be summed up in very short and colorful ideas. Think of some of your favorites, and some of the famous epics out there, can you sum up those stories into short ideas? Probably. And that’s probably exactly how most of them started out.

-Shanda Sharlow

Author of The Psyonic.

About the Author:
Shanda Sharlow began writing short stories from the time she could hold a pencil. Through the years, she’s scribbled down thousands of pages of random stories and unfinished novels that were eventually abandoned or forgotten about. In 2005, she set down to finish a full fantasy novel in the form of the Psyonic, which she managed in a few months. For awhile, she shelved the book without any way to get it realistically published. After Amazon Kindle came out, she found the opportunity to release the Psyonic to the public, and is now working on another full novel. Currently, she lives in Vancouver WA with her father and brother, and edits novels for other people when she’s not writing.

The Psyonic:

Hale lived his entire life in hiding, traveling through slums and nondescript villages, never staying anywhere long enough for the people there to recognize his face. Never staying long enough for anyone to ferret out his secret.

When he comes across a woman who recognizes him, he becomes the confidante of a Princess. Yet the halls of the palace hold far more danger than that of the streets, for within its shadows lurk dark mysteries and murderous intent. Desperate to remain hidden from those who hunt him, Hale must unravel the hidden machinations of the gathered royal families before it’s too late, or it will be more than his life that he loses.

Here’s Shanda’s Blog Tour Schedule:


January 10 – Spotlight Feature at
January 17 – Guest Blogging at
January 19 – Author Interviewed at
January 21 – Guest Blogging at
January 24 – Guest Blogging at
Januaary 26 – Guest Blogging at
January 29 – Author Interviewed at
February 1 – Author Interviewed at
February 3 – Guest Blogging at
February 7 – Author Interviewed at
February 9 – Author Interviewed at
February 11 – Guest Blogging at
February 15 – Author Interviewed at
February 18 – Author Interviewed at
February 21 – Guest Blogging at

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Article: Infinite Quest Author John Edward

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010
Five Ways to Create and Manifest Positive Change
By John Edward,
Author of Infinite QuestDevelop Your Psychic Intuition to Take Charge of Your Life

When I first started doing psychic readings for clients, my grandmother used to get so frustrated when she would hear me say to my clients that they didn’t need to see me, because they could learn to pay attention to the signs and symbols all around them, instead. I often suggested that they study metaphysics, meditate, or just learn to listen to their own intuition. My grandmother would exclaim, “Why are you saying that? You are not going to have any business!” I always laughed because I believed that it was my responsibility to pass this message of self-empowerment on to my clients. I can’t help but smile to think what she would say now [twenty-five years later] about my latest book, Infinite Quest, in which I share how to develop their own intuition. Bearing in mind I am only a teacher, I can’t change your life. You must create and manifest that positive change. How? My guess is that you instinctively already know, but tapping into that knowledge is the key. Here are a few suggestions to get your intuition flowing.

1. Update Your Attitude

I know some of you are rolling your eyes right now, but even though it sounds so simple, changing your attitude can be tricky for everyone at some point in their lives. In fact, many people never seem to be able to break free from outdated or negative thought patterns. Observe your reactions and pay attention to the messages you give yourself and others. You might be surprised at how often you criticize yourself, or how much energy you waste worrying about what will go wrong. Decide to make a conscious change in attitude. and then practice, practice, practice. Look for the adventure out of every experience and encounter. Live passionately and be a force for the universe to use.

2. Take Back the Remote Control

What are you watching on your mind’s TV? What songs are you singing internally? What old tapes are still playing from your childhood? It’s critical to be aware of the ways you are programming your mind, consciously and unconsciously. Turn off the news if you find yourself getting upset, stop watching violent shows before you go to sleep, and kindly excuse yourself from the office gossip. Start programming in your mind’s eye what you really enjoy and want for your life. You are the writer, director, and star of the show. Program your station with positive affirmations, songs of joy, visions of a fulfilling future, and things that make you laugh.

3. Law of Attraction: The Boomerang Effect

Think of it like this: Like attracts Like. For example you are stuck in a negative thought pattern then [unfortunately] until you change it, more negativity will follow. You will start to find that that there will be people in your life who are willing to confirm or exploit your fears. Raise your energetic vibration and attract more positive energy. Look for the best in the people you meet, your experiences, and maybe most importantly, yourself. Instead of listing all that is wrong with something or someone, name three things that are right. The more effort you put into this lifetime the more you will extrapolate from it. Don’t ever forget, whatever you send out energetically will find its way back to you.

4. Honor What You Feel Not What You Fear

I am not saying to deny the feeling of fear and pretend it is not present; instead I am suggesting that you embrace it and then let the fear go and move forward. Choose to use The Love Principle as much as possible. Keep in mind that Fear paralyzes and Love empowers. You could worry that your spouse might cheat on you and then unintentionally, create an atmosphere of suspicion, or you can focus on building a marriage that is full of honesty and trust, giving the relationship the best possible chances for success. Remember, Fear is just False Evidence Appearing Real. Focus on the love you feel and not the fear.

5. The Power of Meditation and Prayer

Meditation is enormously important in the process of your psychic development and evolution. It is an essential tool to assist you in creating a life that is centered and balanced, which is the key to achieving your spiritual goals.

Practicing daily meditation can help you release stress and negativity on a conscious as well as an unconscious level. It relaxes the physical body and teaches the mind to focus for a specific period of time. When you can focus, then it is much easier to visualize–which is the basis for creating your own reality. Don’t panic, it can be as simple as five minutes in the shower, a ten-minute walk in the woods, or even three minutes before you run out the door; just do it at least once a day. It helps you to build a strong foundation by raising your vibration and enabling you to be in the essence of your spirit. It allows you to quiet the physical body, work from your higher self, and open up to higher planes of energy and consciousness. The power and healing energy of prayer is something I believe in quite strongly and encourage you to include in your meditation time.

Keep in mind that you don’t need to look outside yourself for what you already have within. The ultimate goal is to live a psychic life every day and to use that newfound recognition to take chances and make choices with confidence.

© 2010 John Edward
author of Infinite QuestDevelop Your Psychic Intuition to Take Charge of Your Life

Author Bio
John Edward
, author of Infinite Quest: Develop Your Psychic Intuition to Take Charge of Your Life, is an internationally acclaimed psychic medium, author, and lecturer. On his internationally syndicated talk shows, Crossing Over with John Edward and John Edward Cross Country, he captivated audiences worldwide with his unique abilities to connect people with loved ones who have crossed over to the Other Side. John has appeared on many other talk shows, including the Today ShowOprah!, and The View, and has been a frequent guest on CNN’s Larry King Live. He is a regular guest on morning radio, including New York’s WPLJ and Los Angeles’ KROQ. John has been featured in articles in the New York Times, the Los Angeles TimesPeople, and Entertainment Weekly. John is the author of several New York Times best-sellers, including Crossing Over: The Stories Behind the Stories and What if God Were the Sun? He conducts workshops and seminars around the world, and is the founder of the metaphysical website John lives in New York with his family.  

Please follow the author on Facebook and Twitter.

Guest Post: Dr. Joseph Sivak, MD – When Can I Go Home

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

I first started writing When Can I Go Home? back in 1989 when I was in my last year of medical school. That was about a year after my mother died from Alzheimer’s disease.

The book is a memoir about my mother’s futile struggle with the disease. After she passed away I had a tremendous need and sometimes furious drive to record the journey in a timeless and permanent way. As a teenager, I had been my mother’s primary caregiver for a few years , as the disease progressively robbed her of her cognitive abilities, personality and her very essence. At the time writing about it was very cathartic.

The disease process is profoundly isolating for families and I wanted to scream out and tell the world. That element is there in so many Alzheimer’s memoirs.  Unfortunately the issue of isolation has not improved in our society and much as we like to pretend it has in the last thirty years since my mother was diagnosed. At that time most people had not heard of Alzheimer’s disease and of course now it is a household term, but as a society we are still ignorant and terrified about it till it affects our own family. The isolation is still there.

The book is a bit unusual or even paradoxical from an Alzheimer’s memoir point of view in that  It presents a dual perspective. First is a family caregiver specifically a teenager son, which is a bit unusual and at times even bizarre, since that is not the prototypical demographic of a caregiver. The other perspective is a clinical one from a physician. I have treated thousands of patients and their families affected by many psychiatric and neurological problems including many Alzheimer’s victims. The clinical information is broken down and translated for the reader.

So you essentially have these two very different points of view sort of flip-flopping but sort of coming into what I hope is a harmonious symmetry. The third aspect of the book is an underlying and ongoing commentary on all the relevant sociological and psychological issues this book interfaces with. Such issues as the state of health care delivery, being a doctor, and the aging population are addressed and sometimes not in a very convenient way for those that need to hold onto pretense and prejudice for security.   For example as a society we really don’t treat the aging population with the honor and dignity they deserve. We are pretty much obsessed with youth and appearance. We also have a lot of bias toward the medical profession if not at times completely vilifying the field. So in that sense speaking candidly about things albeit my opinion yet based on experience may open the readers eyes, on some issue conversely it may propel some to try to look the other way even more. It’s not always politically correct, but it is a memoir and it is honest. It is sort of visceral, some people will cry some will laugh some will get more angry, it makes you feel first, then think.

The manuscript was hard to finish, it lay dormant for some fifteen years, I never had an ending. Even after the death of an Alzheimer’s victim, there is never an ending for the five million families affected by the disease.  something hit me, after all these years. We are all universally humanly connected by this disease process, and I had the clarity to finish this book.

I love writing, but most of my energy and creativity is spent in my day job. I am currently working on a novel about psychiatric residency. Fiction is obviously a much different prospect than a memoir but it taps a different part of your brain and soul to create something like this compared to a memoir. 

Joseph J. Sivak MD
twitter @whencanigohome

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Guest Post: How To Find Humorous Inspiration – Betty Collier

Monday, October 18th, 2010

An editor for a magazine in which I ran an ad to promote my book, Living Inside The Testimony, asked me to come up with “A HOOK” that she could use as the headline for the ad. She said it needed to be something “catchy” that would peak the curiosity of radio and TV producers.  This is what I came up with:

  • I Became an Author Overnight, and I Remember the Exact Night it Happened
  • How to Become a Best Selling Author Overnight
  • When You Live Inside a Testimony, You Can’t See It
  • Why Read a Book Written by Someone Who Never Wanted to Write One?
  • Is it Luck or is it all Part of THE MASTER’S Plan?
  • Is Your Life Part of a Master Plan?


She considered all these suggestions, but after she read the book for herself, this is the headline she created and used for the ad:

Marrying Your High School Sweetheart is Great: Until Your Kids are in High School

Don’t Miss this Woman’s Fun Advice About Life

Having said all this, my point is simply that the book takes on so many different faces. It was written to be inspirational and encouraging, but it offers much more than that. It’s hard to categorize it only in the inspirational genre because it has so many other facets that are neatly tied together to flow very smoothly. The editor said she was definitely inspired, but felt the main thing I had been missing in my promotions was to stress the humorous side of the book also. She thought it was very funny, but also full of life, love, and faith. It has enough variety to appeal to the general population, whether you share my faith or not.

I never considered myself an author, and if you had asked me prior to January, 2009 if I would ever write a book, my answer would have immediately and adamantly been “absolutely not!”  Perhaps my honesty will make you wonder if the book is even worth reading, but I can assure you…I am an author. I became one overnight, and in fact, I remember the exact night it happened. It was after midnight when January 9th turned into January 10th, the night I dreamed about this book.  I am confident that if you allow me to share my journey with you, you will understand perfectly, but only if you have the faith to believe. I wrote this book based on faith, well aware that not everyone would share my faith. If you read the book, you will see that my journey has been inspired by faith, hope, humor, romance, and alot of love. As one reader told me, “It’s like being on a roller coaster. I didn’t know what to expect next. I was laughing on one page and crying on the next…This book is a masterpiece!”

For more information about my book, please visit

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Guest Post – History of Urban Fiction – George Hudson

Monday, September 20th, 2010

Since I am an author and  publisher of Urban Literature, I though you all would be interested in the history of Urban Lit.  This is a genre of fiction known variously as “street lit,” “ghetto lit,” “urban lit” or “hip-hop lit” has begun registering impressive sales, catching the attention of the publishing industry. Previously sold as typewritten photocopies on street corners, these pulp-fiction books now appear in slick paperbacks available in bookstores and online, for instance on my website: I found most of the following information on Wikipedia.

Urban Fiction was (and largely still is) a genre written by and for African American’s.  Although my book Drama has universal appeal.. In his famous essay “The Souls of Black Folk,” W. E. B. Du Bois discussed how a veil separated the African American community from the outside world.[1] By extension, fiction written by people outside the African American culture could not (at least with any degree of verisimilitude) depict the people, settings, and events experienced by people in that culture. Try as some might, those who grew up outside the veil (i.e., outside the urban culture) simply could not write fiction truly grounded in inner-city and African American life.

In 1965, The Autobiography of Malcom X was published. Because this non-fictional read captured the realistic nature of African American urban life for coming-of-age young men, the book has consistently served as a standard for reading among African American teenaged boys.

In the 1970s, during the culmination of the Black Power movement, a jailed Black man named Robert Beck took the pen name Iceberg Slim and wrote Pimp, a dark, gritty tale of life in the inner-city underworld. While the book contained elements of the Black Power agenda, it was most notable for its unsparing depiction of street life. Iceberg Slim wrote many other novels and attained an international following. Some of the terminology he used in his books crossed over into the lexicon of Black English.

During the 1980s and early 1990s, urban fiction in print experienced a decline. However, one could make a cogent argument that urban tales simply moved from print to music,[3] as hip hop music exploded in popularity, with harsh, gritty stories such as “The Message” and “Dopeman,” set to a driving, strident drum rhythm. Of course, for every emcee who signed a recording contract and made the airwaves, ten more amateurs plied the streets and local clubs, much like urban troubadours telling urban fiction in an informal, oral manner rather than in a neat, written form.  Hip Hop lit in print form, though, is thriving.[

Toward the end of the 1990s, urban fiction experienced a revival, as demand for novels authentically conveying the urban experience increased, and new business models enabled fledgling writers to more easily bring a manuscript to market. With this new wave of renaissance street lit comes a whole new ballgame when it comes to promotion and exposure. Aside from hand-to-hand sales, which seems to work best in a genre where word-of-mouth has proven to be worth more than any large ad campaign, the Internet has increased the authors and publishers the ability to reach out to the genre’s readers. With Internet savvy, many self-published authors who once had no shot of recognition are now household names.

You are all invited to my website to investigate the books that fit this genre very well.

Article – Kristl – The Budget Diet

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

by:  Kristl,

The Budget Diet is a diet for your wallet.not your waistline!  You’ll discover new money saving tips everyday to help you slim down your daily spending!  The Budget Diet girl Is not a financial planner or an accountant.just a mom that knows how to live the good life on a budget!  Follow The Budget Diet on facebook or twitter


Summer Book Swap For Children

A budget friendly & fun way to kick-off a summer of reading! Here’s how.

  • Invite friends (in the same grade) to bring 3 used paperback books that are at their current reading level.
  • After the children arrive, display the books on a large table or two.
  • Draw numbers for the order in which the children will choose a book. For example, if there are 10 children at the party, put numbers 1 – 10 into the drawing & each child picks a number.
  • Round 1 begins! The child that drew #1 picks a book, then the child that drew #2 picks a book, and so on.
  • Before beginning round 2 & round 3, draw numbers again. This turns the swap into a game, adds to the fun and prevents the same child from always
    having first pick or always having last pick!
  • So each child arrived at the party with 3 books, and they’ll leave with 3 books!
  • After the final round, make bookmarks (using scrap paper, markers & assorted stickers).
  • Have information to give the children on summer reading clubs at your local library or bookstore. Most clubs offer incentives or prizes for reading!
  • Refreshments.let the children make their own ice cream sundaes!


P.S. – When my children were in elementary school, I loved hosting a summer book swap! It became an annual tradition! The children enjoyed seeing each other after school was out, they loved getting new books and making bookmarks was a huge hit! If you host a summer book swap. Please let me know how it goes!

Guest Post: Alan Markovitz, Author – Topless Prophet

Monday, February 8th, 2010

15 Business Tips

from the Topless Prophet

Alan Markovitz

1.      Choose your business partners wisely.  Everyone is looking to take more than their fair share.  One of my partners was my dad, who provided good business sense from his ownership of a TV repair shop, extra capital, and a trust that couldn’t be breached.  Another partner of mine was arrested by the FBI for hiring two hit men for $12,000 to kill me.  You’ve gotta find a partner with good judgment and good-sized cojones.

2.      Never stand still, especially when you’re leading the competition.  Whatever strategic advantage you have is short lived and can be copied.  Keep looking to reinvent, expand, upgrade or overhaul.  When you’re on a roll, look for the next and best opportunity to extend your winning streak or more accurately, project your formula, and capture as much market share as you can afford to.

3.      Don’t be intimidated.  I was once threatened by a competing South Florida club when we opened up for business and some “Wise Guys” told us to get out of town.  I ended up testifying against the Mob for the Feds.

4.      If you sleep with the help, you might need help.  In my single days, young and feeling wealthy and powerful, I would sample my talent.  However, it’s easy to get distracted and lose control over someone who not only works for you but you sleep with.  Avoid the conflicts and headaches and keep away from the staff.

5.      Stand up for your rights or you’ll never be taken seriously.  This was true when I had to resort to litigation, on numerous occasions, even in a losing battle.  But you must also know what’s worth fighting for and when to throw in the towel.

6.      The rules can change on you overnight.  My South Florida business went into the toilet when laws were changed to prevent nudity in a place where alcohol was served.  You never can see it coming and when it hits, you need to determine when to walk away.

7.      Have a vision and follow it.  I knew early on, when I first set foot in a topless club as a teenaged patron that I wanted to own a strip club.  I got a job there, learned the business, and then became a co-owner.  I wanted to create a first-class adult entertainment center that would be visited upon by celebrities and athletes.  I wanted to take a blue-collar industry and give it a white collar.  It’s worked out well.

8.      You can manage through any crisis.  I did.  I survived two different life-threatening shootings.  I survived my club being raided and smeared.  I survived some bad business deals.  I worked with a partner for a period of time while he was on trial for arranging my murder.  I dealt with corrupt politicians, dirty cops, and out-of-control patrons.  The key is to stay focused on the prize and know that much of your success is related to how you manage problems.

9.      Come back from a setback, wiser and more determined.  I learned a costly lesson when a business deal went sour and cost me a million bucks.  I was swindled by sleaze but if I wasn’t aggressive and gutsy in business I wouldn’t have all the hits and successes that I have had.  I’ll take a loss that’s short term and temporary if in the end I’m on top.

10.  Experiment and take a chance.  I tried a few new things that in the end didn’t pay off but unless you try new ideas, you won’t get to succeed.  I tried the idea of arranging for strippers on a golf course.  I also chartered flights to Las Vegas that featured performing strippers.

11.  Believe it or not, the way to make money is not always through your core talent.  Sure, the 300+  dancers that work at one of my clubs bring in money, but we make our real money off of alcohol, cigars, food, and merchandise.  Always look at the extra ways you can turn a buck.

12.  Link with a brand name. In Detroit, our Penthouse Gentlemen’s Club is striking gold and the Philadelphia branch of the Penthouse Club just opened this summer to great fanfare. There are only a handful of Penthouse clubs in the U.S.  The name represents quality, security, and the assumption you’ll be treated well as a patron.

13.  In business, you can afford to be a little bit early in striking a deal, but you can’t be a second too late.  Better to leave something on the table than to lose the whole tamale through greed.

14.  Every problem has a solution – but sometimes the price can be steep.  For me, early on my biggest problem was a local, hell-raising motorcycle gang called The Renegades that thought they could party in an establishment that didn’t want that kind of clientele. After a few visits by the police, the only way to settle the manner was for my dad to volunteer to meet with them and make peace.  I thought he was nuts, but as a Holocaust survivor, who saw ghastly things happen, he won the respect of these bikers and a truce was forged.  They became some of my best customers.

15.  Look to revolutionize your business.  In the 1980’s I pioneered how to run a modern-day gentlemen’s club.  Not only did we change the look and feel of the experience – big space, quantity of quality dancers, top-shelf alcohol and expense-account meals – we changed how we pay the dancers after we changed how they perform.  No longer did we have dancers relegated to a single stage filled with several poles.  We created stages everywhere in the club — on your table, next to your table, and eventually on your lap.  The girls had charged for private dances and they earned that money plus we paid them an hourly wage.  We did away with the hourly wage and charged the girls a small daily fee as private contractors who were given an opportunity to dance at the club. The girls initially revolted and went on strike but they eventually caved in when they saw how much money everyone could make.

See Review here

Come back soon for an interview with Mr. Markovitz.