Archive for September, 2010

God and Dog – Wendy Francisco

Sunday, September 19th, 2010
Hardcover: 48 pages
Publisher: Center Street (September 20, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 159995379X
ISBN-13: 978-1599953793
Order from here:

There was very little to this book. It took all of 5 minutes to read and enjoy the pictures. But good things come in small packages, and in this package is what amounts to the lyrics to a song about the love of God and the love of Dog. The author makes many comparisons to the two, and in the end it becomes a very sweet little book. There is no strong language, no adult content, so it’s appropriate for any age. I think it would make a nice gift book, especially for a dog lover.

This book is simply a printed version of the Youtube Video. I’ve included the video here for your enjoyment.

YouTube Preview Image

About the Author:

From the author’s Website:

Wendy was born in 1955 in Boston, Mass. She grew up in Del Mar, California and graduated from San Diego State University.

Wendy has been involved with music, art, writing, photography, nature and animals since she was a kid. Her mother graduated from Boston School of Fine Arts and her father was a graduate of Harvard and worked as an electrical enginneer. He was also a brilliant musician. Wendy spent summers as a dude ranch wrangler throughout her jr high, high school and college years.

Wendy’s involvement with music began at a young age. She learned guitar at age 8 and began to write her own songs. She was asked to perform often and in 1979, was signed to Sparrow Records. Wendy has since traveled all over the United States and beyond doing concerts. You may remember her voice at the front of the NBC sitcom “Dear John” with Jud Hersh.

In 1973, Wendy had an experience which ignited a lifelong passion. Much of her music and writings center around the belief that there is a loving God who created the universe. She struggles with modern religion which limits many people and women in particular, but feels that God Himself is real and loves people.

In 2008, Wendy was asked to participate in the editing of a book, “Wesley The Owl” by author Stacey O’ Brien. It was published by Simon and Schuster and became a New York Times and Los Angeles Times best seller.

Most recently, Wendy created the You Tube video, GoD and Dog. Her first animation, the video received a million views in it’s first 40 days. GoD and DoG will be released as a book in the fall of 2010.

Wendy has a married daughter, recording artist Annie Brooks. Wendy resides with her husband, singer/songwriter Don Francisco, in the mountains of Colorado where she has many animals, and continues to produce art, writings, and music.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Anna at Hachette Book Groups for a review copy. It in no way influenced my review.

You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

Article: Eat Pray Write – Evan Marshall & Martha Jewett

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

Eat Pray Write: Writing for the Pure Pleasure of It
By Evan Marshall and Martha Jewett,
Creators of The Marshall Plan ® Novel Writing Software

As literary agents, we earn our living selling books to publishers. However, we are also writers, and know the pleasure and fulfillment writing can bring, regardless of whether anyone else ever reads it. Some people paint or do handicrafts purely for pleasure. It never occurs to them to exploit their activity commercially. Why, then, has writing become a business in which you’re nothing if you’re not “sold”? We think it’s because of media hype: There are riches there — if you can figure out how to hit it big.

This seems a shame to us. Writing is a craft like any other, capable of bringing the same benefits as any other creative endeavor. Psychologist James W. Pennebaker conducted a study in which groups who wrote about traumatic or emotionally meaningful events, as opposed to groups who wrote about superficial topics and omitted emotions, showed improved health, immune function, hormonal activity and other biological markers of stress or disease. For those wishing to seek these same benefits, we offer the following ideas.


A way to bond with family and friends and leave a legacy, memoirs may take any of a number of forms. Martha has created a number of “recipe memoirs” — brief pieces about people in her family, centering on a recipe connected to that person.

You’ll find information and resources at Telling your story, a website maintained by writer, editor and personal historian Pat McNees. See also Kendra Bonnett and Matilda Butler’s site, Women’s Memoirs.

On our blog you’ll finds ideas for capturing your stories, from the abovementioned “recipe memoirs” to “magazine as memoir” and everything in between.

Journals and Diaries

Many diarists and journal writers find that even if they don’t share their work with others, they still find they gain perspective and greater control over their lives.

Writing to Heal by the above mentioned James Pennebaker (mentioned above) is a guide to healing pain with “emotionally expressive writing.” He stresses that the key to understanding and coming to terms with these experiences is storytelling.

In Writing as a Way of Healing, Louise DeSalvo recommends writing completely uncensored, recording every possible detail, which connects loss, pain and grief to an event and hastens healing.

Julia Cameron’s The Right to Write maintains that “All of us have a sex drive. All of us have a drive to write.” Writing, she says is a natural, joyful process that connects us to the divine.

The New Diary by Tristine Rainer goes beyond the familiar calendar-based diary to help readers clarify goals, focus inner energies, free inhibitions and release imagination.


Another method of recording memories is scrapbooking — the making of highly creative albums containing not only writing but also memorabilia such as artwork, photographs, printed media and small objects.

The website Memory Makers Magazine provides a wealth of free tips on scrapbooking and ideas for scrapbook page layouts.

For the more technologically oriented, My Memories Suite software helps you create and share “digital scrapbooks.”

Social Network Writing

The Internet makes it possible for writers to instantly share their work with readers around the world and receive their feedback. “User generated” content includes novels, poetry and stories. is an online community where writers and readers connect. Pieces may be read not only on a computer but also on mobile devices. is all about “cellphone novels.” Authors and readers share novels, poetry, stories, journal entries or whatever they wish by email or text message. is a network of over a million writers and readers sharing more than 1.2 million original works.

Fan Fiction

Fan fiction (also known as FF, fic, fanfic or fanfiction) is a term for social network fiction written by fans using characters from their favorite novels. These works are rarely published for profit and are intended to be read by other fans.

Thanks to the Internet, fans easily share stories in every genre., widely considered the largest, most popular fan fiction archive online, hosts millions of stories in dozens of languages.

Have you ever found yourself dreaming up new scenarios for characters in your favorite novels? Try fan fiction; however, bear in mind that attitudes toward FF vary among authors. Some give it their blessing while others oppose it. Still others seem to turn a “blind eye” — not actively approving it yet not discouraging it so long as it is not published commercially.

See this helpful article by actress and journalist Racheline Maltese: How to Write Fanfiction: Tips for Writing, and Making Sure Somebody Reads Your Fanfiction.

The Internet has created new opportunities for pursuing all modes of writing for pleasure. But whether you go online or analog, the benefits of writing purely for yourself, rather than for publication, are limitless.

© 2010 Evan Marshall and Martha Jewett, creators of The Marshall Plan ® Novel Writing Software

Author Bios

Evan Marshall and Martha Jewett are the creators of The Marshall Plan® Novel Writing Software, an adaptation of the bestselling Marshall Plan® series of writing guides. Evan is an internationally recognized expert on fiction writing and author of the Hidden Manhattan and Jane Stuart and Winky mystery series. A former book editor, for 27 years he has been a leading literary agent specializing in fiction. He is the president of The Evan Marshall Agency, a leading literary management firm that represents a number of New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors. Martha is a former award-winning business book editor at McGraw-Hill, John Wiley & Sons, and HarperBusiness. She is currently a literary agent and editorial consultant specializing in business books. An avid memoirist, she blogs at

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Pretty Little Things – Jilliane Hoffman

Saturday, September 4th, 2010



Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Vanguard Press (Sep. 7, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1593156073
ISBN-13: 978-1593156077
Order from here:

Elaine (Lainie) Emerson – 13 Years Old, Middle Child.
Debbie Emerson – Lainie’s mother, not very attentive.
Todd LaManna – Elaine’s Stepfather.
Bobby Dees – Cop with Crimes Against Children division of Coral Springs PD.


Lainie Emerson is 13 years old. She’s in a new school, trying to make new friends. Her family is very dysfunctional. Like all the other teenage girls, she’s into Twilight and Myspace. Then she meets Zach. Zach is 16. He’s captain of his football team, and a good looking guy. What could any girl want more. Lainie talks to Zach through instant messages, tells him she’s older than she is, and sends him a photo of her all made up. When she agrees to meet him for a movie, the most terrifying moment of her life begins. Zach is a predator.

Detective Bobby Dees had his own daughter disappear a year prior. Her disappearance has put a lot of stress on his marriage. Lainie’s disappearance is just one of a string of missing children cases that his department is working on. But he doesn’t know exactly how sick a person he is dealing with.


This book really drew me into the story. The predator was a very sick, twisted, person, and I could feel myself being disgusted with him. Though you aren’t allowed to get to know Lainie too well before she is taken, you get to know here through her memories/thoughts. The conflict of Bobby with his own missing daughter gives him that special incentive to try to find other missing children.

The author seemed to really understand the child predator problem, and drew things out as a kind of warning roadmap. And that’s where I think the strongest aspect of this book was. We’ve all seen the “To Catch a Predator” specials, and know that it can happen, but sadly, though parents are well aware, many still don’t monitor what their children do on the internet.

I think this book should be read by any parent with teenage children. Although there was quite a bit of strong language used, and I’d have to give it a PG-13 or R rating for content and language, I think that it’s a book that some teengers should read as well.

I’d recommend this, not only for fans of thrillers, but as I said to parents, as an example of the dangers their children face. I might have to read some more of Ms. Hoffman’s books. It was my first time reading one from her, and was a very enjoyable, though disturbing experience.

Since this book goes beyond a typical thriller and into real life situations, I’d be remiss in my humanitarian duties if I didn’t provide some statistics for you:

•One in five U.S. teenagers who regularly log on to the Internet say they have received an unwanted sexual solicitation via the Web.

•25% of children have been exposed to unwanted pornographic material online.

•Only 1/3 of households with Internet access are actively protecting their children with filtering or blocking software.

•75% of children are willing to share personal information online about themselves and their family in exchange for goods and services.

•Only approximately 25% of children who encountered a sexual approach or solicitation told a parent or adult.

•One in 33 youth received an aggressive sexual solicitation in the past year.

•77% of the targets for online predators were age 14 or older. Another 22% were users ages 10 to 13.


Crimes Against Children Research Center.

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Anna at FSB Associates for a review copy of this book, it in no way influenced my review.

You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

The Glamour of Grammar – Roy Peter Clark

Saturday, September 4th, 2010



Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1 edition (Aug. 16, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 031602791X
ISBN-13: 978-0316027915
Order from here:

Grammar. A word that’s brough many an English student to their knees in tears. But Roy Peter Clark manages, somehow, to take what is a very dry subject, and make it fun. The book is divided into 5 Parts. Each part concentrates on a differen area of Grammar: Words, Points, Standards, Meaing, and Purpose.

Under each of these sections he covers things such as when to use the ellipse…for example…when you want…to write like Captain Kirk. But when explaining these things, he gives real world examples, and keeps the reader entertained at the same time.

I managed to learn many things from this book, things such as the origin of some words, like for instance, from Chinese we get the word Ketchup, and from Arabic get words such as Sugar and Syrup. I also learned of something called a Contranym. I’d heard of antonyms, synonyms, and homynyms, but never a contranym. A contranym it seems is one word that can mean two different things. Examples are the word sanction which means both allow and prohibit, or the word cleave, which means tear apart and hold together.

While the author does lay out the standard rules he also lets you know that sometimes, it’s okay to break the rules, and points out authors that do, some having won awards for their writing.

Each chapter of the book ends with takeaways which highlight the main points of the book and summarize what he’s covered.

If you’re a writer, reader, or just want to learn more about grammar in a more exciting way then you did in High School, then you should pick up this book. I’m certain you’ll learn a lot of new things that you never knew, I know I did, and I’m definitely keeping this book around for a reference.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Anna at Hachette Book Group for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. Thanks to Anna, we are able to give away three copies of the book. See our giveaway here.

You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

Giveaway – The Glamour of Grammar

Saturday, September 4th, 2010

Thanks to Anna at Hachette Book group I”m able to offer my readers 3 copies of this book. To enter, follow these simple rules:

1) One Entry if you’re a follower [You can follow through Google Friend connect to the right, you can also sign up to follow through Twitter or Facebook].
2) An Additonal Entry if you blog about this contest.
3) An Additonal Entry if you’re a new follower.
4) One entry each for posting on facebook and/or twitter.
5) Must leave a comment letting me know how you follow me, blog link to this post, facebook/twitter link, etc.
6) Contest will continue until 09/18/2010.
7) This giveaway is open to residents of US and Canada. No PO Box addresses (street mailing only).

See our review here.

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